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Women who have ovarian cancer may benefit from altretamine. This chemotherapy drug is specifically approved for use when the cancer has returned or has not adequately responded to previous treatment. As a palliative treatment, it can help reduce cancer symptoms but is not a cure for the disease. Nausea, vomiting, and numbness are possible side effects.

What Is Altretamine?

Altretamine (Hexalen®) is a prescription chemotherapy medication. It is approved for the palliative treatment of ovarian cancer (cancer of the ovaries) that has returned or continues to progress despite treatment with other medications. Palliative treatment is treatment that is aimed at reducing symptoms of a condition but does not cure it.
(Click What Is Altretamine Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any chemotherapy medicine, altretamine can cause side effects, some of which can be significant and potentially serious. In fact, most people will experience some type of adverse reaction during treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this drug.
Possible side effects of altretamine include but are not limited to:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low red blood cells (anemia)
  • Numbness, tingling, pain, or other sensations, especially of the hands and feet.
(Click Altretamine Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
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