Iobenguane I 131

Other Names: (Azedra®)

About This Drug

Iobenguane I 131 is a radiopharmaceutical to treat cancer. A radiopharmaceutical is a radioactive drug that is given through an injection in your arm.

Possible Side Effects

  • Bone marrow suppression. 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 feel more tired, and may raise your risk of bleeding.
  • Tiredness
  • Increased international normalized ratio (INR), which can raise your risk of bleeding
  • Nausea and vomiting (throwing up)
  • High blood pressure
  • Feeling dizzy

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 10% or greater of patients treated with iobenguane I 131. Not all possible side effects are included above. 

Warnings and Precautions

  • This drug increases your exposure to radiation. Over time, long-term radiation exposure can increase your risk of getting a second cancer. This drug can also increase your risk of getting myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemia. 
  • Severe bone marrow suppression 
  • Changes in your thyroid function 
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Changes in your kidney function
  • Inflammation (swelling) of the lungs. You may have a dry cough or trouble breathing.

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team. 

Important Information

  • Drink plenty of fluids (at least 2 liters a day) a day before your treatment and for one week after your treatment to decrease the risk of radiation exposure to your bladder. 
  • Because radiopharmaceuticals are removed by the kidneys through your urine, there are some precautions you will need to take. It is important that you follow good hygiene practices during and after treatment to minimize radiation exposure from your bodily fluids to others. Talk to your doctor and/or your nurse about the necessary precautions to take during this time. 
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding any other medicines that you are to take with your iobenguane I 131. 

Treating Side Effects

  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
  • Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • To decrease infection, wash your hands regularly.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have a cold, the flu, or other infections.
  • Take your temperature as your doctor or nurse tells you, and whenever you feel like you may have a fever.
  • To help decrease bleeding, use a soft toothbrush. Check with your nurse before using dental floss.
  • Be very careful when using knives or tools.
  • Use an electric shaver instead of a razor.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
  • If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack of water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help or stop lessen these symptoms.
  • If you are dizzy, get up slowly after sitting or lying. 

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of iobenguane I 131 with food.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) you are taking before starting this medicine as there are known drug interactions with iobenguane I 131. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplements to make sure that there are no interactions. 
  • 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. 
  • Avoid the use of St. John’s Wort while taking iobenguane I 131 as this may lower the levels of the drug in your body, which can make it less effective.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of the following symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities 
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded 
  • A headache that does not go away 
  • Blurry vision or other changes in eyesight 
  • Easy bleeding or bruising 
  • Pain in your chest 
  • Dry cough 
  • Trouble breathing 
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines 
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day 
  • Decreased urine, or very dark urine 
  • Unexplained weight gain 
  • If you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of child bearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for at least 7 months after treatment. Men with female partners of child bearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for at least 4 months after your cancer treatment. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner
  • Breastfeeding warning:  Women should not breastfeed during treatment and for 80 days after treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby. 
  • Fertility warning: In men and women both, this drug may affect your ability to have children in the future. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.

New August 2018

This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2018. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have.

CLIENT acknowledges that the Via Pathways and Via Portal are information management tools only, and that Via Oncology, LLC has not represented the Via Pathways or Via Portal as having the ability to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform any other tasks that constitute the practice of medicine. The clinical information contained in the Via Pathways and Via Portal are intended as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, expertise, skill, and judgment of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved with patient care at CLIENT facilities.