Cancer Home > Alkeran

If you have multiple myeloma or ovarian cancer, your healthcare provider may prescribe Alkeran. This medication is available as a tablet or intravenous injection; your exact dosage will be based on your height, weight, and various other factors. Side effects can include infections, bleeding, and anemia.


What Is Alkeran?

Alkeran® (melphalan) is a prescription chemotherapy medication that is available as an injection or a tablet. It is approved for the palliative treatment of certain types of cancer. This type of treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms of a condition, but does not provide a cure. In cancer treatment, palliative care may slow down the progression of cancer.
The types of cancer Alkeran is approved to treat include:
(Click Alkeran Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Alkeran injection is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and distributed by ApoPharma USA, Inc. The tablets are manufactured by Excella GmbH for GlaxoSmithKline and also distributed by ApoPharma USA, Inc.

How Does Alkeran Work?

Alkeran is part of a group of medications called alkylating agents. In general, alkylating agents work by causing strands of DNA to bond to each other and become linked (this is known as "cross-linking"). The linked strands cannot uncoil and separate, which is necessary for the DNA to replicate. Because DNA replication is essential for cells to grow and multiply, alkylating agents like Alkeran prevent cell growth and multiplication, and may cause cell death.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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