About This Drug
Radium Ra 223 dichloride is used to treat cancer. It is given in your vein (IV).
Possible Side Effects (More Common)
- Nausea and throwing up (vomiting). These symptoms may happen within a few hours after your treatment and may last up to 24 hours. Medicines are available to stop or lessen these side effects.
- Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for a few days.
- Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding.
Possible Side Effects (Less Common)
- This drug may affect how your kidneys work. Your kidney function will be checked as needed.
- This drug may raise your risk of getting a second cancer.
Treating Side Effects
- Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body due to losing too much fluid).
- Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen the loose bowel movements.
- There are no limits for contact with other people after you get this drug.
- Follow good hygiene practices while getting this drug and for at least 1 week after the last injection. This will lessen radiation exposure from body fluids to family, friends, and caregivers.
- When it is possible, use a toilet. The toilet should be flushed several times after each use. Clothing that is soiled with urine or stool (bowel movement) should be washed by itself and right away.
- Caregivers should use gloves for patient care. If caregivers will be handling body fluids (urine or stool), a protective gown should also be worn. Caregivers should wash their hands very well after caring for someone who got this drug.
Food and Drug Interactions
There are no known interactions of radium Ra 223 dichloride with food. This drug may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) 4 times in one day or loose bowel movements with lack of strength or a feeling dizzy
- Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking
- Throwing up more than 3 times a day
Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:
- Decreased urine
- Nausea that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
- Swelling of legs, ankles, or feet
- Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
- Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
- Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
- Extreme weakness that interferes with normal activities
Reproduction and Sexual Concerns
- Infertility warning: Sexual problems and reproduction concerns may happen. In both men and women, this drug may affect your ability to have children. This cannot be determined before your therapy. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.
- Pregnancy warning: This drug may cause very harmful effects on an unborn child. Radium Ra 223 dichloride should never be used by women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant while taking the drug. Even 1 dose taken by a pregnant woman can cause these very harmful effects. Your healthcare team will talk to you and give you written information about this risk.
- Because this drug can harm an unborn child, patients who are sexually active should use 2 methods of birth control, including condoms, during treatment and for 6 months after the treatment is done.
- Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby
New Education Sheet: June 2015