March 21, 2017

Plicamycin injection

What is plicamycin injection?

PLICAMYCIN (Mithracin®) is a type of chemotherapy for treating cancer. Plicamycin is an antibiotic that interferes with cell growth. It is effective in treating testicular cancer. Plicamycin may also lower serum calcium levels and is used to treat patients with high levels of calcium in the blood. Generic plicamycin injections are not yet available.

NOTE: This drug is discontinued in the United States.

What should my health care professional know before I receive plicamycin?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • bleeding problems

  • blood disorders

  • dental disease

  • having intramuscular injections

  • infection (especially chickenpox and herpes)

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • low blood levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium, or phosphate

  • lung disease

  • recent radiation therapy

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to plicamycin, other chemotherapy agents, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Plicamycin is for infusion into a vein. It is usually given in a hospital or clinic setting by a trained health care professional.

What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss a dose if you require regular therapy. Let your prescriber or health care professional know if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What drug(s) may interact with plicamycin?

  • agents that dissolve blood clots

  • aspirin and aspirin-like medicines

  • blood thinners

  • carbamazepine

  • chloramphenicol

  • clozapine

  • medicines that suppress your immune function

  • live virus vaccines

  • medicines for mental problems and psychotic disturbances

  • zidovudine, ZDV

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What should I watch for while taking plicamycin?

Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood checks.

Plicamycin may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon because plicamycin affects good cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects as above, but continue your course of medicine even though you feel ill, unless your prescriber or health care professional tells you to stop.

Plicamycin can cause blood problems. This can mean slow healing and a risk of infection. Try to avoid cutting or injuring yourself. Problems can arise if you need dental work, and in the day to day care of your teeth. Try to avoid damage to your teeth and gums when you brush or floss your teeth.

While you are taking plicamycin, you will be more susceptible to infection. Try to avoid people with colds, flu, and bronchitis. Do not have any vaccinations without your prescriber's approval and avoid anyone who has recently had oral polio vaccine.

Call your prescriber or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat. Do not treat yourself.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are receiving plicamycin.

Drink several glasses of water a day. This will help to reduce possible kidney or bladder problems.

What side effects may I notice from receiving plicamycin?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • black tarry stools

  • blood in the urine

  • fever or chills, cough or sore throat

  • lower back pain

  • muscle spasms, muscle weakness

  • pain or difficulty passing urine

  • pain, redness, swelling or irritation at the injection site

  • reduced, or increased amount of urine passed

  • seizures (convulsions)

  • stomach pain, ulcers

  • unusual bleeding or bruising, pinpoint red spots on your skin, nose bleeds

  • unusual tiredness or weakness

  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • nausea

  • loss of appetite

  • diarrhea

  • facial flushing

  • mouth or throat sores or ulcers

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

After mixing the injection solution use at once. Use infusion solution within 4—6 hours. Throw away any unused portions.


March 21, 2017


U.S. FDA-approved Package Insert