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Arabinosylcytosine (Generic Cytarabine)

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WARNING

Cytarabine injection must be administered under the care of a physician with training in administering chemotherapy drugs for cancer.

Your bone marrow’s capacity to produce blood cells may suffer significantly as a result of cytarbine. This could result in specific symptoms and raise your risk of getting a major infection or bleeding. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: An extraordinary amount of bleeding or bruising, black and tarry stools, red blood in the stools, bloody vomit, or vomited material that resembles coffee grounds are all indications of infection.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Certain kinds of leukaemia (cancer of the white blood cells), such as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL), and chronic myelogenous leukaemia, are treated with cytarabine alone or in combination with other chemotherapy medications (CML). Meningeal leukaemia can also be treated with cytarabine alone or in combination with other chemotherapy medicines (cancer in the membrane that covers and protects the spinal cord and brain). Cytarabine belongs to the group of drugs known as antimetabolites. It functions by reducing or halting the development of cancer cells within your body.

How should this medicine be used?

In a medical setting, a doctor or nurse will mix powder and liquid to administer cytarabine intravenously (into a vein), subcutaneously (under the skin), or intrathecally (into the fluid-filled region of the spinal canal). How frequently you will be given cytarabine will be specified by your doctor. Your ailment and how your body reacts to the drug will determine the schedule.

For a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

Additionally, cytarabine is occasionally used to treat specific forms of non-lymphomas. Hodgkin’s (a type of cancer that begins in a type of white blood cells that normally fights infection). The dangers of using this drug for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving cytarabine injection,

  • If you have an allergy to cytarabine or any of the ingredients in cytarabine injection, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Include any of the following: gentamicin, flucytosine (Ancobon), or digoxin (Lanoxin). Tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, even any not on this list, as other medications may also interact with cytarabine.
  • If you have kidney or liver problems now or in the past, let your doctor know.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Pregnancy should not occur while a patient is getting cytarabine injection. Call your doctor if you get pregnant while taking cytarabine. The foetus could suffer from cytarabine.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Cytarabine could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach ache
  • Appetite loss
  • Mouth- and throat-related sores
  • Hair fall
  • Muscle or joint discomfort
  • Tiredness
  • Red or swollen eyes

Some adverse effects may be severe. Get emergency medical care or call your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms or any of those in the IMPORTANT WARNING section:

  • Chronic stomach ache that occasionally radiates to the back
  • Redness, discomfort, swelling, or burning at the injection site
  • Pale complexion
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Chest ache
  • Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
  • Reduced urination or pee that is dark in hue
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Sudden alteration or vision loss
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Tingling, burning, or numbness in the legs, arms, feet, or hands

Other negative effects of cytarabine may occur. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Cytosar-U®
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