Alkeran (Melphalan) tablets belong to a class of drugs called alkylating agents, often used for the treatment of various types of cancer. These are a class of cell-cycle non-specific agents which halt the cell division of rapidly proliferating cancerous cells in the resting phase.
It has anti-neoplastic or cytotoxic properties due to which it is used as a chemotherapy drug in the treatment of cancers, like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, neuroblastoma, multiple myeloma, melanoma, retinoblastoma, hepatocellular cancer, etc. It works on the principle of interstrand crosslinking of the DNA chains, thereby halting the cell division of cancer cells.
Dosage and administration
For multiple myeloma:
The usual prescribed dose is 6 mg/day (3 divided doses of 2 mg each throughout the day) that is to be taken on an empty stomach, for 2-3 weeks, after which the drug must be discontinued for a period of 4 weeks, during which the cell count must be observed carefully. A maintenance dose of 2 mg/day can be instituted if the blood cell count is found to rise.
For ovarian cancer:
Administer a dose of 0.2 mg/kg body weight daily for a course of 5 days. Repeat the course after discontinuing the medicine for 4-5 weeks.
Some of the side effects that may occur with the use of this drug are mentioned below,