Pharmacologic class: Organic thiophosphate cytoprotective drug
Therapeutic class: Cytoprotectant
Pregnancy risk category C
Undergoes conversion to free thiol, an active metabolite that reduces toxic effects of cisplatin on renal tissue
Powder for injection: 500-mg anhydrous base and 500 mg mannitol in 10-ml vials
Indications and dosages
➣ To reduce cumulative renal toxicity of cisplatin therapy in patients with ovarian cancer or non-small-cell lung
Adults: 910 mg/m2 I.V. daily as a 15-minute infusion, starting 30 minutes before chemotherapy
➣ To reduce moderate to severe xerostomia in patients undergoing postoperative radiation treatment for head or neck cancer
Adults: 200 mg/m2 I.V. daily as a 3-minute infusion, starting 15 to 30 minutes before standard fraction radiation therapy
• Protection against cisplatin- and paclitaxel-induced neurotoxicity
• Hypersensitivity to drug
Use cautiously in:
• arrhythmias, heart failure, ischemic heart disease, renal impairment, hearing impairment, hypocalcemia, myasthenia gravis, nausea, vomiting, hypotension, obesity
• history of cerebrovascular accident or transient ischemic attacks
• concurrent antihypertensive therapy that can't be discontinued for 24 hours before amifostine therapy (not recommended)
• definitive radiotherapy (not recommended)
• elderly patients
• pregnant patients (safety and efficacy not established)
• breastfeeding patients
• children (safety and efficacy not established).
• Ensure that patient is adequately hydrated before starting drug.
• Give antiemetics before and during therapy.
• Reconstitute single-dose vial with 9.7 ml of sterile normal saline injection. May be further diluted with normal saline solution up to a concentration of 40 mg/ml.
• Don't mix with other drugs or solutions.
• Know that drug also can be prepared in polyvinyl chloride bags.
• Don't infuse longer than 15 minutes; doing so increases risk of adverse reactions.
☞ Keep patient supine during administration.
CNS: dizziness, drowsiness, rigors
GI: nausea, vomiting
Respiratory: dyspnea, sneezing
Skin: flushing, rash, urticaria, erythema multiforme
Other: chills, warm sensation, hiccups, allergic reactions
Drug-drug. Antihypertensives: increased risk of hypotension
Drug-diagnostic tests. Calcium: decreased level
• Monitor blood pressure every 5 minutes during infusion and immediately after infusion as clinically indicated.
• Assess for severe nausea and vomiting.
• Monitor fluid intake and output.
• Monitor blood calcium level. Give calcium supplements as ordered.
• Emphasize importance of remaining supine during drug administration to prevent hypotension.
• Caution patient to avoid driving and other hazardous activities until he knows how drug affects concentration and alertness.
• Advise patient to minimize GI upset by eating small, frequent servings of food and drinking plenty of fluids.
• Provide dietary counseling. Refer patient to dietitian if adverse GI effects significantly limit food intake.
• Inform patient that sneezing is a normal effect of drug.
• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs and tests mentioned above.
ClassificationTherapeutic: cytoprotective agents
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
Central nervous system
Ear, Eye, Nose, Throat
- hypotension (most frequent)
- nausea (most frequent)
- vomiting (most frequent)
Fluid and Electrolyte
- allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, stevens-johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, toxoderma, erythema multiforma, exfoliative dermatitis (↑ when used as a radioprotectant) (life-threatening)
Drug-Drug interactionConcurrent use of antihypertensives ↑ risk of hypotension.
Reduction of Renal Damage with Cisplatin
Reduction of Xerostomia from Radiation
Availability (generic available)
- Monitor BP before and every 5 min during infusion. Discontinue antihypertensives 24 hr prior to treatment. If significant hypotension requiring interruption of therapy occurs, place patient in Trendelenburg position and administer an infusion of 0.9% NaCl using a separate IV line. If BP returns to normal in 5 min and patient is asymptomatic, infusion may be resumed so that full dose may be given.
- Assess fluid status before administration. Correct dehydration before instituting therapy. Nausea and vomiting are frequent and may be severe. Administer prophylactic antiemetics including dexamethasone 20 mg IV and a serotonin-antagonist antiemetic (dolasetron, granisetron, ondansetron, palonosetron) before and during infusion. Monitor fluid status closely.
- Observe patient for signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis (rash, pruritus, laryngeal edema, wheezing). Discontinue the drug and notify physician or other health care professional immediately if these problems occur. Keep epinephrine, an antihistamine, and resuscitation equipment close by in case of an anaphylactic reaction.
- Xerostomia: Assess patient for dry mouth and mouth sores periodically during therapy.
- Monitor patient for skin reactions before, during, and after amifostine administration; reactions may be delayed by several weeks after initiation of therapy. Permanently discontinue amifostine in patients who experience serious or severe cutaneous reactions or cutaneous reactions associated with fever or other symptoms of unknown cause. Withhold therapy and obtain dermatologic consultation and biopsy for cutaneous reactions or mucosal lesions of unknown cause appearing outside of injection site or radiation port, and for erythematous, edematous, or bullous lesions on the palms of the hand or soles of the feet.
- Lab Test Considerations: Monitor serum calcium concentrations before and periodically during therapy. May cause hypocalcemia. Calcium supplements may be necessary.
Potential Nursing DiagnosesRisk for injury (Indications)
- pH: 7.0.
- Intermittent Infusion: Diluent: Reconstitute with 9.7 mL of sterile 0.9% NaCl. Dilute further with 0.9% NaCl. Do not administer solutions that are discolored or contain particulate matter. Solution is stable for 5 hr at room temperature or 24 hr if refrigerated.Concentration: Adults: dilute dose to a final volume of 50 mL; Children: 5–40 mg/mL.
- Rate: For renal toxicity: Administer over 15 min within 30 min before chemotherapy administration. Longer infusion times are not as well tolerated. For xerostomia: Administer over 3 min starting 15–30 min prior to radiation therapy.
- Y-Site Compatibility: amikacin, aminophylline, amphotericin B liposome, ampicillin, ampicillin/sulbactam, aztreonam, bivalirudin, bleomycin, bumetanide, buprenorphine, butorphanol, calcium gluconate, carboplatin, carmustine, caspofungin, cefazolin, cefotaxime, cefotetan, cefoxitin, ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, cefuroxime, cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, cyclophosphamide, cytarabine, dacarbazine, dactinomycin, daptomycin, daunorubicin hydrochloride, dexamethasone, dexmedetomidine, diltiazem, diphenhydramine, dobutamine, docetaxel, dopamine, doxorubicin hydrochloride, doxycycline, droperidol, enalaprilat, epirubicin, ertapenem, etoposide, etoposide phosphate, famotidine, fenoldopam, floxuridine, fluconazole, fludarabine, fluorouracil, furosemide, gemcitabine, gentamicin, granisetron, haloperidol, heparin, hydrocortisone, hydromorphone, idarubicin, ifosfamide, imipenem/cilastatin, leucovorin, levofloxacin, linezolid, lorazepam, magnesium sulfate, mannitol, mechlorethamine, meperidine, mesna, methotrexate, methylprednisolone, metoclopramide, metronidazole, milrinone, mitomycin, morphine, nalbuphine, nesiritide, octreotide, ondansetron, oxaliplatin, paclitaxel, palonosetron, pantoprazole, pemetrexed, piperacillin/tazobactam, potassium chloride, promethazine, ranitidine, rituximab, sodium acetate, sodium bicarbonate, streptozocin, tacrolimus, teniposide, thiotepa, ticarcillin/clavulanate, tigecycline, tirofiban, tobramycin, trastuzumab, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, vancomycin, vasopressin, vecuronium, vinblastine, vincristine, vinorelbine, voriconazole, zidovudine
- Y-Site Incompatibility: acyclovir, amphotericin B colloidal, cefoperazone, cisplatin, ganciclovir, hydroxyzine, minocycline, prochlorperazine, quinupristin/dalfopristin
- Additive Incompatibility: Do not mix with other solutions or medications.
- Explain the purpose of amifostine infusion to patient.
- Inform patient that amifostine may cause hypotension, nausea, vomiting, flushing, chills, dizziness, somnolence, hiccups, and sneezing.
- Advise patient to notify health care professional if skin reactions occur.
- Prevention of renal toxicity associated with repeated administration of cisplatin in patients with ovarian cancer.
- Decreased severity of xerostomia from radiation treatment of head and neck cancer.