Radium 223

Radium 223 treats prostate cancer that has spread into the bone.

Radium 223 Overview

Reviewed: January 3, 2014
Updated: 

Radium 223 is an agent used to treat prostate cancer that has spread into the bone. Radium 223 is an alpha particle-emitting isotope. It works by integrating within bone and emitting energy. This energy wave disrupts cancer cell DNA and destroys the cell.

This agent comes in an liquid form to be injected into the vein (IV) by a healthcare professional.

Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and swelling.

 

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Radium 223 Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Radium 223

Radium 223 is an agent used to treat prostate cancer that has spread into the bone. It targets only cancer cells that have spread into the bone.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
 

Radium 223 Brand Names

Radium 223 may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Radium 223 Drug Class

Radium 223 is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Radium 223

Common side effects include the following:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • swelling
  • low blood counts

This is not a complete list of this agent's side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Radium 223 Interactions

No drug interactions have been studied by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Radium 223 Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with radium 223, and certain precautions should be followed:

  • lowered blood count. This may cause certain symptoms and may increase the risk that you will develop a serious or life-threatening infection or bleeding. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fever, chills, sore throat, ongoing cough and congestion, or other signs of infection; unusual bleeding or bruising; bloody or black, tarry stools; bloody vomit; or vomiting blood or brown material that resembles coffee grounds.
  • Report signs of dehydration, including lowered blood pressure, inability to urinate, or unusual fatige.

Do not receive radium 223 if you:

  • are allergic to radium 223 or to any of its ingredients
  • are pregnant

 

Radium 223 Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of this medication, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet.

Inform MD

Before receiving radium 223, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to radium 223 or to any of its ingredients
  • have kidney problems
  • have a blood disorder
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Radium 223 and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Radium 223 falls into category X. Radium 223 can cause harm to the fetus (unborn baby) if you take this and are pregnant. Radium 223 is not indicated for use in women. Radium 223 is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant. If this agent is used during pregnancy, or if you become pregnant while receiving this agent, be aware of the potential hazard to the fetus.

Radium 223 and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if radium 223 crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using this medication.

Radium 223 Usage

  • This medication comes in an liquid form to be injected into the vein (IV) by a healthcare professional.
  • Follow good hygiene practices while receiving this medication and for at least 1 week after the last injection in order to minimize radiation exposure from bodily fluids. Whenever possible, use a toilet and the toilet should be flushed several times after each use. Clothing soiled with patient fecal matter or urine should be washed promptly and separately from other clothing. If a caregiver is assisting you, he/she should use universal precautions for patient care such as gloves and barrier gowns when handling bodily fluids to avoid contamination.

Radium 223 Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

The dose regimen is 50 kBq (1.35 microcurie) per kilogram of body weight, given every 4 weeks for 6 injections.

Radium 223 Overdose

Since this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
 

Other Requirements

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.