This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

The U.S. FDA-approved Dactinomycin to treat different cancer disorders such as Wilms’ tumor, Ewing’ sarcoma, melanoma, testicular and uterus cancer, and Rhabdomyosarcoma on March 13, 2009.  

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Dactinomycin binds to DNA and inhibits protein synthesis in cancer cells, thereby slowing the growth and multiplication of cancer cells.

Uses of undefined

Dactinomycin is used to treat different cancer disorders such as Wilms’ tumor (a type of kidney cancer that usually occurs in children, Ewing’ sarcoma (a type of bone cancer), melanoma (skin cancer), testicular and uterus cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma (rare kind of cancer in muscle).  It works by inhibiting the reproduction cells (especially abnormal cells). 

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

Dactinomycin injection is administered as an intravenous infusion into the vein or directly into the cancer site. If this injection is recommended for you, it will be given by a healthcare professional. Do not self-administer. Your physician will choose the dosage and administration frequency based on the medical condition because it differs for each person.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to Dactinomycin or its other ingredients if you have chickenpox or shingles. This medicine may cause kidney, liver, and bone marrow (myelosuppression) problems. So, report to your doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions. Before starting the treatment, inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding. Notify your doctor if you took any X-rays or antibacterial treatment. 


Use effective contraception during and after the treatment; women for six months and men for three months even after the treatment. Discuss your fertility problem with the doctor since this medicine could cause fertility issues as its side effects.  Inform your physician about any underlying kidney disorders before taking Dactinomycin, as this medication should be used cautiously in kidney disease patients. If you spill or splash the medicine, it must be washed immediately and need medical action as this medicine can cause severe skin tissue damage. 

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Dactinomycin are nausea, vomiting, inflammation of the rectum, tiredness, feeling unwell, fertility problems, inflammation of the lungs, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, mouth ulcers, sore throat, cracked lips, tingling in hands and feet, difficulty in breathing with thoracic pain, stomach pain, ulcers, loss of appetite, blood clot, diarrhea, constipation, skin rashes, acne, increased darkness in the skin, hair loss, soft tissue damage, blurry vision. 

Serious side effects while taking Dactinomycin are bacterial infection in the bloodstream (shivering, diarrhea, sudden chill), severe bleeding, inflammation of the vein, facial or tongue swelling, skin and muscle pain accompanied by fever and chills, blisters covering a large portion of the body, peeling off the skin, red or purplish rash, tumor lysis syndrome (muscle spasm, decreased urine flow, irregular heartbeat), liver problems (difficulty breathing with thoracic pain, confusion, seizures, sweet breath odor), lower blood cells (RBC, WBC, platelet).

Word Of Advice

Store at a temperature below 25˚C. Do not refrigerate or freeze. Keep the vials away from direct sunlight. Keep this medicine out of sight and reach of children. If you missed your dose, visit your doctor once after you remember. 

Frequently Asked Question


  1. 1.KD Tripathi, Essentials of Medical Pharmacology, Anticancer drugs,7th edition, 2013, 867.
  2. 2.Goodman & Gilman’s, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Cytotoxic Agents, 12th edition, 2011,1712.
  3. 3.Recordati Rare Diseases, US Food and Drug Administration, [ Revised on August 2018] [ Accessed on 9th April 2021],
  4. 4. Recordati Rare Diseases, Electronic medicines compendium (EMC), [ Revised on September 2019] [ Accessed on 9th April],


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice. It is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you are eligible to receive this treatment.