Here are the basics about each of the medicines below. Only the most common reactions are listed. Ask your doctor if you need to take any special steps. Use each of these drugs as advised by your doctor or the booklet they came with. If you have any questions, call your doctor.

Medicine may help to manage side effects of melanoma and its treatment. Let your doctor know if you have any problems.

Prescription Medications

Anti-nausea

  • Prochlorperazine
  • Ondansetron
  • Granisetron
  • Metoclopramide

Opioids

  • Hydromorphone
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Hydrocodone and acetaminophen
  • Oxycodone and acetaminophen
  • Tapentadol

Blood Stem Cell Support Drugs

  • Filgrastim
  • Epoetin

Over-the-Counter Medications

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen

Prescription Medications

Anti-nausea

Common names:

  • Prochlorperazine
  • Ondansetron
  • Granisetron
  • Metoclopramid

Anti-nausea medicines help treat or prevent nausea and vomiting. They are given in different ways such as a pill or shot.

Some problems are:

For prochlorperazine:

  • Problems seeing clearly, in color, or at night
  • Fainting
  • Loss of balance
  • Restlessness or need to keep moving
  • Stiffness of arms and legs
  • Trembling and shaking of hands and fingers

For ondansetron:

For granisetron:

  • Belly pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Feeling very tired or weak

For metoclopramide:

  • Diarrhea (with high doses)
  • Drowsiness
  • Restlessness
  • Higher risk of tardive dyskinesia—a serious nervous system problem that happens in people who take this drug longer than 3 months
Opioids

Common names:

  • Hydromorphone
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Hydrocodone and acetaminophen
  • Oxycodone and acetaminophen
  • Tapentadol

Opioids are used to ease pain. They work well, but can lead to addiction. If you take opioids, the doctor will watch you closely.

Some opioids are blended with acetaminophen. They work better than either one used alone. Lower doses of each drug are needed to achieve pain relief in some people.

Some problems are:

  • Constipation
  • Lightheadednes
  • Feeling faint
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea or vomiting

Blood Stem Cell Support Drugs

Common names:

Common names:

  • Filgrastim
  • Epoetin

Cancer treatment ruins healthy blood cells. Filgrastim helps your bone marrow make new white blood cells so the body can better fight infections.

Epoetin helps your bone marrow to make new red blood cells to help prevent anemia. This drug has two-week delay after the first shot. If blood cells need to be restored quickly, a blood transfusion may be done.

Some problems are:

For filgrastim:

  • Headache
  • Pain in arms or legs
  • Pain in joints or muscles
  • Pain in lower back or pelvis
  • Skin rash or itching

For epoetin:

  • Cough, sneezing, or sore throat
  • Fever
  • Swelling of face, fingers, ankles, feet, or lower legs
  • Weight gain

Over-the-Counter Medications

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Common names:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen

NSAIDs are used to relieve pain and inflammation.

Some problems are:

  • Stomach pain, or discomfort
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Higher risk of a heart attack or stroke

Special Considerations

If you are taking medicine:

  • Take medicine as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule.
  • Ask what side effects could occur. Report them to your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medicine.
  • Do not share your prescription medicine.
  • Medicine can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one medicine. This includes over-the-counter products and supplements.
  • Plan for refills as needed.

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