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    Information about Amifostine

    Amifostine uses

    Amifostine is used to prevent dryness in the mouth after radio therapy of head and neck cancer. It is also used to reduce the harmful effect of chemotherapy on the kidneys during treatment with cisplatin.

    How amifostine works

    Amifostine works by removing free radical, harmful elements produced by cisplatin (a medicine used to treat cancer) or radiation therapy in tissues.

    Common side effects of amifostine

    Nausea, Vomiting, Decreased blood pressure, Hiccup, Sleepiness, Dizziness, Flushing (sense of warmth in the face, ears, neck and trunk), Fever, Chills

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    Expert advice for Amifostine

    • Inform your doctor if you suffer from cardiovascular or cerebrovascular conditions such as ischemic heart disease (chest pain, discomfort or frank heart attack), arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), heart failure, or have a history of stroke or transient ischemic attacks (mini stroke).
    • You need to be adequately hydrated prior to the amifostine infusion.
    • Frequent monitoring of blood pressure is required during infusion and use of antihypertensive drugs 24 hr prior to start of amifostine infusion should be avoided.
    • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
    • Inform your doctor immediately if you develop any skin reaction or reactions in and around the mouth, any time following amifostine administration. 
    • Amifostine is not recommended for use in elderly.

    Frequently asked questions for Amifostine


    Q. Is Amifostine FDA approved?

    Yes, it is FDA an approved drug

    Q. What is Amifostine used for?

    Amifostine is used to reduce toxicity to kidneys associated with cisplatin therapy in patients with advanced ovarian cancer, and in prevention of dry mouth (xerostomia) during radiotherapy for head and neck cancer

    Q. How does Amifostine work?

    It protects the normal cells against the harmful effects of chemotherapy medications and radiation treatment by producing a chemical ‘thiol' that binds to and detoxifies the harmful compounds produced by cisplatin. Amifostine does not interfere with the action of cisplatin.

    Content on this page was last updated on 22 February, 2018, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)