- Dactinomycin is used as a part of a combination treatment for Wilms’ tumor (type of cancer of the kidneys) in children, childhood rhabdomyosarcoma (cancers affecting muscles), Ewing's sarcoma (cancers affecting muscles and bones), and metastatic nonseminomatous testicular cancers.
- It is used either alone or as a part of combination regimen in the treatment of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (cancers of the pregnant uterus).
- It is also indicated in cancers of the skin, breast, endometrium, ovary, thyroid, stomach, bladder, liver, and lung, soft tissue sarcomas and in hematologic malignancies (cancers of the blood) such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, multiple myeloma, and Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.
How it works
Dactinomycin belongs to a class of medicines known as anthracyclines. It is a cytotoxic, antineoplastic (anticancer) medicine that works by binding to DNA (gene) and stopping the RNA synthesis, thereby slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in the body.
Common side effects
Nausea, Pharyngitis, Pneumonitis, Anorectal inflammation, Liver disorder, Abdominal pain, Acne, Myelosuppression, Anemia, Lip swelling, Diarrhoea, Difficulty in swallowing, Erythema multiforme, Esophagitis, Gastrointestinal ulcer, Hair loss, Decreased calcium level in blood, Infection, Loss of appetite, Muscle pain, Sepsis, Skin eruptions, Ulcerative stomatitis, Vomiting
- Use appropriate contraception during treatment with dactinomycin, if you are women of childbearing potential.
- During administration, avoid inhalation of dust or vapors and contact with eyes or mucous membranes as it is highly toxic and extremely corrosive to soft tissues.
- Take precautions while taking dactinomycin as you may develop life threatening allergic reactions.
- You may be monitored daily for any side effects during treatment as it may cause toxic reactions such as stomatitis, diarrhea, severe hematopoietic depression.
- Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Is dactinomycin an anthracycline?
Yes, dactinomycin is an anthracycline.
Q. Is dactinomycin a vesicant (agent that causes tissue blistering and damage)?
Yes, dactinomycin is a vesicant; it may cause tissue blistering if it leaks out of the vein.