Dactinomycin is used to treat serious cancer in children. It is most commonly prescribed in order to combat cancer of the muscles or of the kidneys in young people. Adults who have testicular cancer or tumors that form in the uterus while a woman is pregnant may also take this drug. Dactinomycin is injected into the veins and works by interfering with the growth of cancer cells.
This drug is highly toxic; it causes extreme irritation when it comes in contact with body tissues. It can cause severe and irreversible tissue damage; some patients’ arms shrink as a result of taking this drug. Special care should be taken to stop the drug from coming into contact with the eyes or nose, as breathing it in or getting it in the eyes can cause serious tissue damage in those areas as well as throughout the entire body.