Available by prescription only, Alkeran® (melphalan) is a chemotherapy medication that is reserved for use in people who have multiple myeloma or ovarian cancer. It comes in the form of a tablet or as an injection that is given into a vein (an intravenous, IV, infusion).
Alkeran works by interfering with cell division, which helps prevent cancer cells from multiplying. It is approved for palliative treatment, which means it can help relieve cancer symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease, but it will not cure it. Most people who use this medicine will develop some type of side effect, such as infections, bleeding, or anemia.
(Click Alkeran Uses for more in-depth information on using this drug for cancer treatment. This article also explains whether it is prescribed for off-label uses.)
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.
Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series [Internet database]. Greenwood Village, Colo: Thomson Reuters (Healthcare), Inc. Updated periodically. Accessed September 3, 2012.
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