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Name of the generic: porfimer (pronounced: POR-fi-mer) POR-fi-mer [POR-fi-mer]
Drug class: Malignancy photosensitizers

What is Photofrin?

Photofrin can be used in conjunction with "photodynamic" laser light therapy to decrease cancerous growth that is located in the esophagus or the lungs (the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach). Photofrin can also be used for reasons not mentioned in this guideline for medication.

Side effects Photofrin:

See a doctor immediately. Get medical attention immediately if you notice symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction, like hives, trouble breathing, or swelling of your lips, face, and tongue.

Photofrin may cause serious side effects. Consult your doctor immediately in the event that you experience:

  • Fever, chills, chest pain, fever;
  • If you feel extremely hungry or sweaty, in a position to not urinate, or suffer from excessive sweating or dry and hot skin,
  • Low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin sensation of fatigue, unusually tired, feeling lightheaded or short of breath, cold hands and feet;
  • Fluid buildup around the lungs. Pain as you breathe, feeling exhausted while sitting down, coughing, breathing heavily, coughing with foamy mucus, clammy and cold surfaces, anxiety, rapid heartbeats
  • Indications of stomach bleeding—bloody or tarry stool and coughing bloody vomit that resembles coffee grounds signs of stomach bleeding include: bloody or tarry stools, bloody vomit that
  • Indications of symptoms of a stroke—sudden weakening or numbness (especially for one leg) or sudden, extreme headache or slurred speech. Issues with balance or vision.

Common negative effects of photofrin could include:

  • Trouble breathing, chest difficulties, and fluid in your lungs;
  • The fever and itchy throat cough, fever;
  • Anemia;
  • Becoming more sensitive.
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation;
  • Difficulties swallowing and coughing up blood.
  • Pain, back pain;
  • Sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • Dehydration.

This isn't a complete list of possible side effects, and others could happen. Contact your doctor to seek medical advice on adverse effects. You can report any side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


It is not recommended to receive Photofrin if you suffer from porphyria (a genetic disorder of enzymes that causes symptoms that affect the nervous system and skin) or esophageal bleeding. fistula (abnormal flowway) in the esophagus or throat, or a tumor that is affecting the blood vessels of a significant size.

Prior to use this drug

It is not recommended to use Photofrin if your body is allergic to it or is:

  • Porphyria (a genetic disorder of enzymes that results in symptoms that affect the nervous system, skin, or nerves);
  • A fistula (an abnormal passageway) in the throat or esophagus
  • Esophageal bleeding; or
  • A tumor that is affecting the blood vessels is of significant size.

Inform your doctor if you have ever suffered from:

  • Heart disease;
  • kidney disease or liver failure;
  • late-stage cancer;
  • A blood clot or stroke
  • If you're being treated with radiation,

It is possible that you will need to take an unfavorable pregnancy test prior to commencing this treatment. Men and women who are taking this medication should utilize effective birth control to stop the pregnancy. Photofrin can harm an unborn child when the father or mother uses this medication. Use contraceptives for a minimum of 5 months following the last dose. Inform your doctor immediately when you become pregnant when one of the mothers or fathers is taking Photofrin. Avoid breastfeeding while taking this medication, and at least 5 months following your last dose.

How to take Photofrin?

Photofrin can be given as an injection into the vein. Your healthcare provider will offer the injection. Contact your physician. If you experience any pain, burning, or other swelling after Photofrin is administered, You'll receive a laser light treatment between 40 and 50 hours following your Photofrin infusion. Another laser light treatment could be administered within 96–120 hours following your infusion. Photofrin can make your eyes and skin sensitive to light. At least for 30 days following the time you've been treated with this medication, it is important to shield your skin and eyes from direct sunlight as well as bright indoor lights (such as the lights of an office of a doctor, operating room lamps tanning beds, and bright halogen lights or light bulbs that are not shaded).

Make sure that all areas of your skin are covered by clothing, and wear dark glasses when you're outside. Sunscreen does not shield you from serious sunburn over the course of 30 days following treatment using Photofrin. The sensitivity you feel to light could last for 90 days or even longer. Talk to your doctor about whether your skin remains sensitive to light.

  • Place a small part of your face in bright indoor lighting for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Avoid using the skin around either your face or the area around your eyes to determine your sensitivity to light.
  • If the skin exposed begins to show signs of swelling, redness, or blisters within 24 hours, you should wait two weeks before retesting.
  • Examine your skin again to determine if the amount of sunlight exposure rose due to moving or traveling within 90 days of the time you received Photofrin.

Exposure to sunlight that shines through a window isn't as harmful and may aid in eliminating photofrin from your body. Follow your doctor's advice on the ideal quantity of light exposure. It is possible that you require frequent medical tests or an annual biopsy every three months. If you require major surgery or are in bed for a long time, you may need to discontinue taking Photofrin for a short period of time. Any surgeon or doctor who cares for you should be aware that you're being treated by Photofrin.

What happens if I miss the dose?

Contact your physician for advice. If you do not make the appointment for your treatment with lasers, The time between your Photofrin treatment and the treatment is essential to ensuring that the treatment is effective.

What happens when I consume too much?

Since the medication is prescribed by a health expert in a medical environment, the risk of overdose is less likely to occur

What should be avoided?

Beware of exposure to bright or intense indoor lighting for at least 90 days following the time you were treated by Photofrin. Photofrin can cause your eyes to become more sensitive to the headlights of cars coming up when you drive. Be careful driving in the dark until this effect has worn off.

Interaction with other drugs

Photofrin may cause your skin to become more sensitive to light. This can be exacerbated by the use of certain other medications, such as antibiotics, blood pressure or heart medications, and certain anti-psychotic medications or medications to manage severe nausea and vomiting.

Other medications can impact Photofrin, such as medications that are prescribed and available over the counter, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your physician about all the medicines you are currently taking and any medication you begin or stop taking.