Streptozocin should be given only under the supervision of a doctor with experience in the use of chemotherapy medications.
Streptozocin may cause severe or life-threatening kidney problems. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications you are taking so they can check whether any of your medications may increase the risk that you will develop kidney problems during your treatment with streptozocin. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: decreased urination; swelling of the face, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs; or unusual tiredness or weakness. Follow your doctor's instruction about drinking fluids during your treatment to help reduce the risk of kidney problems.
Streptozocin can cause a severe decrease in the number of blood cells in your bone marrow. This may cause certain symptoms and may increase the risk that you will develop a serious or life-threatening infection or bleeding. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fever, chills, sore throat, ongoing cough and congestion, or other signs of infection; unusual bleeding or bruising; bloody or black, tarry stools; bloody vomit; or vomiting blood or brown material that resembles coffee grounds.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests before, during, and after your treatment to check your body's response to streptozocin. Your doctor may need to stop or delay your treatment if you experience certain side effects.
Streptozocin has been found to increase the risk of developing cancer in some animals. Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving streptozocin.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Streptozocin is used to treat cancer of the pancreas that has gotten worse or spread to other parts of the body. Streptozocin is in a class of medications called alkylating agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.
How should this medicine be used?
Streptozocin comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and given intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. It may be injected once a day for 5 days in row every 6 weeks or it may be injected once a week. The length of treatment depends on how well your body responds to treatment with streptozocin.
Your doctor may need to delay your treatment or adjust your dose if you experience certain side effects. It is important for you to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with streptozocin injection.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving streptozocin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to streptozocin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in streptozocin injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section and any of the following: certain chemotherapy medications such as carboplatin (Paraplatin), cisplatin (Platinol), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar), or doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Doxil); and phenytoin (Dilantin). Your doctor may need to monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with streptozocin, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You should not become pregnant or breast-feed during your treatment with streptozocin. If you become pregnant while receiving streptozocin, call your doctor. Streptozocin may harm the fetus.
- you should know that streptozocin may make you drowsy or confused. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Streptozocin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- feeling tired
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- pain, itching, redness, swelling, blisters, or sores in the place where the medication was injected.
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- nervousness or irritability
- sudden changes in behavior or mood
- numbness or tingling around the mouth
- sudden hunger
- excessive thirst
- frequent urination
Streptozocin 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 (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
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.