Gallium nitrate: Uses & Side Effects

Gallium nitrate is a form of nitrate salt. Gallium
nitrate is used to lower blood levels of calcium when they have become
dangerously high in cancer patients.

How
is gallium nitrate given?

Gallium nitrate is injected into a vein
through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Gallium nitrate must be given as an IV
infusion around the clock for up to 5 days, or until blood calcium levels are
lowered to a safe level.

During your treatment with gallium nitrate,
you may also need to receive intravenous (IV) fluids to keep you from getting
dehydrated.

Drink plenty of liquids as directed by your
care providers while you are being treated with gallium nitrate.

To be sure this medicine is helping your
condition, your blood and urine will need to be tested often. This will help
your doctor determine how long to treat you with gallium nitrate.

Precautions

Gallium nitrate can harm your kidneys. This
effect is increased when you also use certain other medicines, including antivirals,
chemotherapy, injected antibiotics, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to
prevent organ transplant rejection, injectable osteoporosis medication, and
some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and
Aleve). If you need to use any of these medicines, you may need to stop using
gallium nitrate and drink plenty of fluids for several days.

You should not use this medicine if you are
allergic to gallium nitrate, or if you have:

severe kidney disease.

To make sure gallium nitrate is safe for
you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a history of kidney disease;
  • heart disease;
  • if you take diuretics (water pills).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known
whether gallium nitrate will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are
pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

It is not known whether gallium nitrate
passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not
breast-feed while using this medicine.

Side
Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any
of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of
your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers right away if you
have:

  • severe or ongoing nausea or vomiting;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • blurred vision, headache or pain behind your eyes;
  • confusion, hallucinations;
  • cough, noisy breathing, feeling short of breath;
  • signs of a kidney problem–little or no urinating; painful or
    difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles; feeling tired or short of
    breath.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;
  • weakness, fever or cold feeling;
  • swelling in your ankles or feet;
  • fast heart rate;
  • numbness or tingling, skin rash.

Interactions

Gallium nitrate can harm your kidneys. This
effect is increased when you also use certain other medicines, including:

  • antivirals;
  • chemotherapy;
  • injected antibiotics;
  • medicine for bowel disorders;
  • medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection;
  • injectable osteoporosis medication;
  • some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil,
    and Aleve).

If you need to use any of the medicines
above, you may need to stop using gallium nitrate and drink plenty of fluids
for several days.

Always consult your healthcare provider to
ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal
circumstances.

Keyword: gallium nitrate.

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