Mitomycin

How do I say this name?

mye-toe-MYE-sin

What is this medicine used for?

Mitomycin kills cancer cells.

This medicine may be called by its brand name, Mutamycin, or by the common name, mitomycin-C.

How do I take this medicine?

Mitomycin is injected into the veins.

Are there any special things I should do while on this medicine?

Mitomycin can decrease the number of white blood cells in your body, cells that usually help you fight infections. It can also decrease the number of cells in your blood that help your blood clot (platelets) and the number of red blood cells, cells that carry oxygen to your tissues. Without enough red blood cells, the tissues get less oxygen and you could become fatigued. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist how to reduce your risk of infection, excessive bleeding, or fatigue.

Tell the doctor or nurse right away if you have redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site. If mitomycin leaks out of the vein it is injected into, it can damage the tissue and cause scarring. Tissue damage can occur right away or may be delayed for weeks to months.

What side effects are common with this medicine?

  • Increased risk of infection for 4-6 weeks after therapy
  • Increased risk of bleeding for 4-6 weeks after therapy
  • Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite
  • Reversible hair loss

When should I call my doctor?

Call your doctor if you are worried about a side effect or have questions about your medical care.

Call the doctor at once if you have any of these side effects:

  • Redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or trouble breathing
  • Unexplained cough
  • Blood in urine, stool, or vomit
  • Symptoms of infection:
    • Cough, hoarseness, or sore throat
    • Fever above 100.5° Fahrenheit, or chills
    • Pain in lower back or side
    • Painful or difficult urination
    • Urinating more often than normal
  • Symptoms of decreased kidney function:
    • Decreased frequency or amount of urination
    • Swelling of feet or lower legs

Call the doctor as soon as you can if you have any of these side effects:

  • Skin rash or itching
  • Sores in mouth, throat, or on lips

Are there side effects from this medicine after I finish my chemotherapy?

Mitomycin may cause side effects that do not occur for months or years after you finish chemotherapy, including leukemia or decreased ability to have children. Discuss these long-term effects with your doctor if you are concerned.

These written patient information materials should be used in conjunction with verbal counseling. They are not intended as the sole source of information patients receive about their chemotherapy and other medications. The adverse effects listed are important and common ones that patients might experience; every possible adverse effect is not included. Long-term adverse effects, like secondary malignancy and infertility, are discussed for those drugs whose risk is well defined.

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