Fotemustine is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat cancer of the skin.
Fotemustine injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein) or intra-arterially (into the arteries). It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Fotemustine.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Do not use Fotemustine if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Fotemustine may cause harm to your unborn child.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Do not give this medicine to children or adolescents unless instructed to do so by the doctor.
Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated.
You must avoid any vaccinations without consulting with your doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- liver disease
- kidney disease
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Fotemustine to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
For as long as you are using this medicine, you may need to have regular blood tests (e.g. complete blood count, liver and kidney function) to check your body’s response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have blood tests.
Fotemustine may impair your physical or mental abilities. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, and fever.
Fotemustine will cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Inform your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Inform your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Avoid vaccinations, particularly with yellow fever vaccine while being treated with Fotemustine. Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated or if you are planning to get vaccinated.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- phenytoin (medicine for fits or seizures)
- immunosuppresants (medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders)
- dacarbazine (medicine used to treat cancer)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Fotemustine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Protect from light. Light may cause the medication to lose some of its effectiveness.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As Fotemustine is a cancer medicine, always return any unused medicine to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.