Available as tablets or an intravenous injection, melphalan is given to help minimize symptoms caused by ovarian cancer or multiple myeloma. The melphalan dosage you receive is highly individualized and will depend on a number of things, such as your weight, your height, and how you respond to the medication. Also, your amount will depend largely on your blood cell counts.
An Introduction to Dosing With MelphalanThe dosage of melphalan (Alkeran®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- The type of cancer being treated
- Whether you are receiving the tablets or injections
- Your weight and height
- How you respond to and tolerate the medication
- Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
Recommended Melphalan Dosing Guidelines for Multiple MyelomaThe dose of melphalan can vary significantly from person to person. There are several dosing regimens that can be used to treat multiple myeloma. Your healthcare provider will recommend an amount and schedule that works best for your particular situation.
If you are taking this medication by mouth (melphalan tablets), your healthcare provider may calculate your initial dosage based on your weight, or choose to give you a standard dosage not related to your weight. Your initial amount will likely be adjusted based on your blood cell counts (white blood cells and platelets). With adequate doses, melphalan will cause blood cell counts to decline.
Normally, the medication is taken every day for a period of time, followed by a break in treatment. This break gives your body time to replace its depleted blood cells. Once your blood cell counts begin to return to normal, you will start taking melphalan again.
Most people will begin daily maintenance doses, which are normally lower than initial melphalan doses and are also adjusted based on blood cell counts. However, some people may continue a schedule of taking the medicine daily for several days, followed by a break in treatment.
If you are being given intravenous (IV) melphalan, your healthcare provider will recommend a dosage based on your body surface area, which is normally calculated using your height and weight. Intravenous melphalan is normally given every two weeks for four doses. Then, once blood cell counts have adequately returned to normal, the medication is given once every four weeks. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dosage each week based on blood cell counts.