Melphalan is prescribed to treat ovarian cancer and multiple myeloma. This medication is taken orally or injected intravenously to combat these potentially fatal cancers. The medication slows down cancer cells’ ability to grow so that cancer can be eliminated from the body.
This medication can cause white blood cells counts to fall dramatically. White blood cells are involved with protecting the body from infection; patients who are on Melphalan therefore may suffer from frequent or recurrent infections. Patients may have flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills or nausea.
This medication can cause leukemia and other serious cancers; patients should be monitored closely for the development of new types of cancer while on it.
Some patients may have a severe allergic reaction to the medication. Melphalan should be administered in the hospital and patients should be observed to make sure they don’t have facial swelling or difficulty breathing before being allowed to go home.