Pentostatin injection must be given under the supervision of a doctor who is experienced in giving chemotherapy medications for cancer.
Pentostatin may cause serious side effects, including damage to the nervous system. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: seizures; confusion; drowsiness; loss of consciousness for a period of time; pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet; or weakness in the arms or leg or loss of ability to move your arms or legs.
In a clinical study, people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who used pentostatin injection along with fludarabine (Fludara) were at a higher risk of developing serious lung damage. In some cases, this lung damage caused death. Therefore, your doctor will not prescribe pentostatin injection to be given along with fludarabine (Fludara).
Pentostatin is used to treat hairy cell leukemia (cancer of a certain type of white blood cell). Pentostatin is a type of antibiotic that is only used in cancer chemotherapy. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.
Pentostatin comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected intravenously (into a vein) over 5 minutes or infused intravenously over 20 to 30 minutes by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. It is usually injected once every other week. The length of treatment depends on how well your body responds to treatment with pentostatin.
Your doctor may need to delay your treatment or change 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 pentostatin injection.
Pentostatin is also sometimes used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL; a type of cancer of the white blood cells) and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (a type of cancer that begins in a type of white blood cell that normally fights infection and that affects the skin). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
sores in the mouth and throat
flatulence or large amounts of gas in the intestines or bowels
muscle, back, or joint pain
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
loss of strength or energy
shortness of breath
fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
unusual bleeding or bruising
black and tarry stools
red blood in stools
bloody vomit; vomited material that looks like coffee grounds
fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
yellowing of the skin or eyes
loss of appetite
pain in the upper right part of the stomach
dark colored urine
swelling of the face, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
unusual tiredness or weakness
changes in hearing
Pentostatin 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 [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
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.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to pentostatin.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about pentostatin.
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.
Last Revised - 02/15/2013
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.