Cancer Home > Ontak Dosage

Before your healthcare provider gives you Ontak, he or she will calculate an appropriate dosage based on factors like your weight and how much medicine you may need to treat your lymphoma. The drug is slowly injected into a vein once a day for five days. This five-day treatment is repeated every three weeks for eight cycles, unless you develop potentially serious reactions.

An Introduction to Dosing With Ontak

The dose of Ontak® (denileukin diftitox) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, based on a number of factors, including:
  • Your weight
  • Your healthcare provider's impression of how much medicine you may need to treat your condition.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.

What Is the Recommended Ontak Dosage?

The usual recommended dosage of Ontak for treating cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is 9 or 18 micrograms (mcg) per kg body weight (about 4.09 or 8.18 mcg per lb) given once a day for five days in a row. This five-day treatment is normally given every 21 days for eight cycles, as long as potentially serious side effects do not occur.
You will be given acetaminophen (Tylenol® and others) and an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl® and others), before each dose. These medicines are given to reduce your risk of developing a potentially serious reaction to the Ontak infusion.
Your healthcare provider will check your blood levels of albumin (a protein found in the body) before each dose. If the levels are too low, your treatment will be temporarily interrupted until the levels return to normal.

General Information on Receiving Ontak

Some considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Ontak include the following:
  • Ontak comes as a liquid that is slowly injected into a vein (an intravenous, or IV, infusion).
  • It will take 30 to 60 minutes to administer the injection. You will be observed carefully during this time to make sure you are tolerating Ontak.
  • Doses are usually given five days in a row, once every three weeks.
  • The injection will be given by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or clinic.
  • Your healthcare provider will give you other medicine before administering Ontak to help prevent certain side effects that can occur from the infusion.
  • The medication should be inspected before use and should not be given if it contains particles or is discolored.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. It is important to keep all of your appointments to receive your Ontak dose.
  • If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage or Ontak dosing in general, please talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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