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Amifostine (By injection)

Amifostine (a-mi-FOS-teen)

Protects the kidneys from harmful effects caused by cisplatin and protects the saliva glands during radiation treatment.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to amifostine and similar medicines, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein. This medicine must be injected slowly, so your IV tube will need to stay in place for at least 15 minutes before receiving cancer medicines or at least 3 minutes before receiving radiation treatment.
  • Drink extra fluids during the 24 hours before you receive this medicine.
  • You may receive other medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting. You may also be given calcium supplements if needed.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how amifostine works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Blood pressure medicine, including amlodipine, atenolol, clonidine, lisinopril, metoprolol, olmesartan
    • Diuretic (water pill), including furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), torsemide

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Do not breastfeed while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, heart disease, heart failure, or heart rhythm problems. Tell your doctor if you have a history of low blood pressure, stroke, or transient ischemic attacks (TIA).
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Low blood pressure
    • Serious skin reactions, including drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS)
    • Hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood)
  • This medicine may cause nausea or vomiting, sometimes even after you receive medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
  • Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children. Some men who use this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children).
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Chest pain, or fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever or chills
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Red skin lesions on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
  • Unusual drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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