A healthcare provider may prescribe Nipent® (pentostatin) to adults who have a type of cancer called hairy cell leukemia. Also known as 2-deoxycoformycin (DCF), Nipent belongs to a group of medications called purine analogs. It works by blocking the action of certain enzymes in the body, which causes high levels of a certain compound that is toxic to the leukemia cells. This prevents cancer cells from growing and dividing, and may even cause the cancer cells to die.
Nipent is given by IV (intravenously, as an injection into a vein). It is given once every other week, and will be administered by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting.
The recommended dosage is highly individualized for each person and will depend on things like your weight, how you respond to the medicine, and other medical conditions you may have. Side effects are common and may include nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
(Click Nipent for a closer look at using this treatment for hairy cell leukemia, with details on how it is administered, how your dosage is determined, and an explanation of how it works.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Nipent [package insert]. Lake Forest, IL: Hospira, Inc.;2009 April.
Pentostatin. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2012. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed October 14, 2012.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed October 14, 2012.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click