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:
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: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Alkeran [package insert]. Rockville, MD: ApoPharma USA, Inc.;November 2011.
Alkeran Tablet [package insert]. Rockville, MD: ApoPharma USA, Inc.;June 2011.
Melphalan. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2012. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. September 3, 2012.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed September 3, 2012.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed September 3, 2012.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click