How does this medicine work?

Dactinomycin (dak-ti-noh-mye-sin) is a chemotherapy medicine that destroys cancer cells in all phases of cell life.

How is the medicine given?

Dactinomycin is given into a vein (IV) in the hospital or clinic.

What are the side effects?


  • low blood counts


  • moderate to severe nausea and vomiting
  • skin sensitivity to sunlight
  • hair loss


  • diarrhea
  • acne-like skin rash
  • mouth sores
  • may “reactivate” redness in a site of previous radiation
  • darkening of skin


  • liver damage

When should I call the clinic?

Call hematology helpline 982403210 if:

  • fever, chills
  • cough
  • hoarseness
  • bleeding
  • unusual bruising
  • mouth sores
  • continued vomiting or diarrhea
  • skin irritation
  • skin rash
  • sunburn
  • signs of allergic reaction:
    • sudden rash or hives
      •  itching
      •  wheezing
      • trouble breathing – call 112

What else do I need to know?

All caregivers should wear gloves when handling urine, stool, and vomit while your child is receiving the chemotherapy and for 48 hours afterward. Urine, stool, and vomit can be safely disposed of in septic tanks and the sewer system.

Any clothing or bed linens that are contaminated with urine, stool, or vomit should be washed separately from other laundry in hot water and detergent. Anyone handling the contaminated laundry should wear gloves. If too much or the wrong kind of chemotherapy medicine is taken, call the oncology clinic immediately

Blood samples may be needed to check the effects of the dactinomycin. Blood countsare lowest 7 to 10 days after the medicine is given.

It is important to take good care of the mouth to prevent mouth sores.

Tissue burn may occur if the medicine leaks from the vein.

To prevent sunburn, wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors during treatment and upto 1 year after treatment is completed. Avoid extensive exposure to sunlight.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. It is important to share this information with anyone involved in your child’s care.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call:

Hematology Clinic
3rd floor, Kedar
Opp.Krupa Petrol Pump,
Parimal Garden, Ambawadi
Clinic: 07926463219
Whattsapp: 8238065890