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Things to Tell Your Doctor Before Treatment

Whenever your doctor prescribes a treatment, tell him or her if:

  • You've taken the drug before (even if you had no unusual reaction)
  • You had an unusual or allergic reaction to this drug
  • You have or have had any other medical conditions, including:
    • Diabetes
    • Gout
    • Heart disease (or abnormal heart rhythms or congestive heart failure)
    • A head injury
    • Infection
    • An immune deficiency
    • Kidney disease
    • Kidney stones
    • Liver disease
    • Marrow depression
    • Low serum magnesium or potassium
    • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
    • A history of alcoholism
  • You've recently been exposed to varicella (chicken pox) or herpes zoster (shingles)
  • You've had an unusual or allergic reaction to any foods such as lactose or egg whites, preservatives, dyes, E. coli-derived proteins, albumin or retinoid (vitamin A) preparations
  • You've ever been treated with radiation therapy or other cancer therapies (some cancer drugs may increase the effects of other medications or radiation therapy
  • You take any vitamins, minerals, herbs or other supplements
  • You're planning a family or have any concerns about intimacy, birth control, fertility, pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • You take any other drugs (prescription or over-the-counter)
  • You use illegal or street drugs, which can increase the toxicity of certain cancer drugs
  • You're a smoker