Amifostine is used protect the kidneys from harmful effects of the chemotherapy drug cisplatin in patients that receive this medication for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Amifostine is also used to decrease dryness in the mouth caused by radiation treatment after surgery for head and neck cancer. Amifostine is in a class of medications called cytoprotectants. It works by protecting against the harmful effects of chemotherapy medications and radiation treatment.
Amifostine comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. When amifostine is used to protect the kidneys against the harmful effects of cisplatin, it is usually given over 15 minutes starting 30 minutes before you receive your chemotherapy treatment. When amifostine is used to reduce the severe dry mouth caused by radiation treatment, it is usually given over 3 minutes starting 15–30 minutes before your radiation treatment.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Amifostine is also sometimes used to prevent and decrease side effects associated with certain chemotherapy medications or radiation treatment and in the treatment of some types of blood cell diseases.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before receiving amifostine,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Amifostine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms , call your doctor immediately:
Amifostine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to amifostine.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.