Mitomycin (Mutamycin)

Warning:  It is possible for Mitomycin to cause kidney damage and to decrease the number of blood cells in your bone marrow. Your doctor will order tests in order to monitor your progress while taking Mitomycin. These tests will help prevent the development of any potentially harmful conditions. Also, if you find yourself experiencing any side effects of the medication, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.  Mitomycin has some side effects that may be serious or, if not given proper attention, could become fetal. Depending on what you experience, your doctor may adjust your dose of Mitomycin or your treatment schedule.

Indications: Mitomycin is a liquid drug used to treat certain forms of bladder, pancreas, neck, breast, and stomach cancers.  However, you should keep in mind that if you are receiving chemotherapy treatment for any of the above types of cancer or any other form of cancer, you may not receive Mitomycin as part of your treatment. Your doctor will monitor you and plan a course of chemotherapy treatment that is most appropriate for you.

You will receive Mitomycin through a vein (intravenously) and it will be administered by a doctor or by someone who a doctor is supervising. Mitomycin is an antineoplastic drug (anti-cancer) that is also used as an antibiotic.

Dosage:  Mitomycin is a liquid medication that is available in vials of 5 mg, 20 mg, or 40 mg. Your doctor will combine the medication with sterile water before beginning to administer it to you. Because this medication requires skill and experience to prepare and administer, only your doctor or someone supervised by your doctor should give you Mitomycin. You should never give yourself a dose. You may experience some toxic effects after receiving the drug, so your doctor will give you a full reevaluation after each administration.

Overdose:  Overdosing Mitomycin can be fetal. An overdose of the medication can damage the bone marrow, and cause serious kidney damage. In fact, even at normal dose, Mitomycin can cause serious urinary side effects. To reduce risk of kidney damage and side effects, drink plenty of fluids during the therapy, and keep all appointments with your doctor.

Contraindications: If you have experienced a sensitivity to Mitomycin or any of its inactive ingredients or if you have thrombocytopenia, any coagulation disorder, or an increase in bleeding tendency, your doctor may recommend that you do not use Mitomycin.  Other contraindications exist, so please discuss any concerns you have with your doctor.

Interactions: Mitomycin’s primary interaction may occur with the live rotavirus vaccine. Certain other medications also have the potential to interact with Mitomycin, vaccines in particular. However, your doctor may judge that taking both Mitomycin and one or more of the following medications will not result in an interaction: Live adenovirus vaccine types 4 and 7; live influenza vaccine, live mumps vaccine, live rubella vaccine; tamoxifen; and yellow fever vaccine. This is not a complete list of drugs that may interact with Mitomycin. Ask your doctor about other potential interactions. You can also refer to the drug information sheet.

Mechanism of action (MOA): Mitomycin is an antibiotic; it slows or stops the growth of cancer cells by altering the structure of their DNA, which prevents them from multiplying.

Side effects – healthy cells that reproduce rapidly are also damged by the medication . This which often leads to adverse effects; the most common Mitomycin side effects include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • mouth blistering or stomatitis – inflammation of the mucous lining of any of the structures in the mouth
  • Mitomycin may also cause elevated liver enzymes in the blood, absence of periods (amenorrhea) and azoospermia (no sperm in semen in the ejaculate)

See your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following medical conditions:

  • dizziness
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • persistent cough
  • burning or difficulty urination
  • swelling of the ankles or feet
  • pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Signs of infection: fever, chills, sore throat, itching or rash

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