What Pralatrexate is and what it is used for?
- Pralatrexate is classified as an anticancer antimetabolites. This drug inhibits DNA and RNA synthesis, thus stopping cell replication and eventually cause cell death. This cell damage slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body.
- Pralatrexate is used to treat peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) in patients whose cancer have come back or did not respond to previous treatment.
How Pralatrexate is given?
- Pralatrexate is given as an intravenous push over 3-5 minutes.
What should I know while receiving Pralatrexate?
- Do not use pralatrexate when you are pregnant. Men and women should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 3 and 6 months after the treatment ends.
- Do not breastfeed and for 1 week after the last dose.
- Do not receive any kind of vaccination without doctor's approval.
- You will have regular blood tests to check that you have enough blood cells and have adequate organ functions to receive pralatrexate. The timing and dosing of your treatment may be changed based on the test results or other side effects.
- There are many drugs may affect how pralatrexate works. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- The existing health problems may affect the use of pralatrexate. You should let your doctor know if you have any other medical problems, especially if you have liver or kidney problems.
- To minimize the chance of side effects, the doctor will give you folic acid and vitamin B12 before, during and after treatment. Take these medicines exactly as ordered by your doctor.
Common side effects
- Mouth sores
Your doctor can give you medicines that help you ease the discomfort. Good mouth care will help manage mouth sores.
- Low platelet count
You may have a higher risk of bleeding. Let your doctor know if you find red or purple dots on the skin, bleeding from the nose or gums, or any bruising or bleeding that you cannot explain.
- Low red blood cell count
You may look pale and get tired more easily. Let your doctor know if you experience any difficulty breathing or dizziness when changing positions.
Medicines may be given before the treatment to prevent it happening. Eating and drinking often in small amounts may reduce the discomfort.
- Weakness and fatigue
Try to pace yourself and rest as much as possible. Seek medical advice if fatigue does not go away when you rest and sleep.
- Constipation or diarrhea
Talk to your doctor and ask for advice. Drinking plenty of water and dietary changes can improve the symptoms.
- Swelling of lower legs or hands
Tell your doctor if your hands, arms, legs, or feet feel puffy or tender. The doctor may give medicines to reduce your symptoms and suggest ways to prevent fluid buildup.
- Cough or trouble breathing
Tell your doctor at once if you develop difficulty breathing with wheezing and coughing or there is any existing breathing problems get worse.
Less common side effects
- Low white blood cell count
You may have a higher risk of getting infections. Try to stay away from crowds and wash hands often. Tell your doctor right away if you have repeated fevers, coughing, stuffy nose, a painful urination or wound that becomes red and swollen.
- Loss of appetite
Try to eat in small quantities and have frequent meals. If your appetite does not get any better after a few days, tell your doctor.
- Skin reactions
Symptoms include dryness, itching, and rash. Tell your doctor about any skin changes that you have, they can give you medicines and advices that help you feel better.
- Muscle or joint pain
Talk to the doctor if the pain is bothering you, they can give you medicine to relieve pain.
- Elevated liver enzymes
Pralatrexate may affect how your liver works. Seek medical help right away if you have yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark or brown urine, or pain in abdomen, as these can be signs of liver toxicity.
- Electrolyte imbalance ( potassium levels)
You may feel weak or numb, have muscle spasms, or twitch. Your doctor will monitor your electrolyte levels and may prescribe specific electrolytes to be given by intravenous injection or taken by mouth.
- Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day can help make your recovery a smoother process.
- Alcohol and cigarettes may interfere with certain medicines or worsen side effects from chemotherapy treatment. It is wise to avoid alcohol and cigarettes during cancer treatment. If you have any problem about drinking alcohol and smoking, you should check with your doctor.