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Arsenic trioxide

Generic name: arsenic trioxide [AR-sen-ik-trye-OX-ide]
Brand name: Trisenox
Form of dosage: intravenous solution (1 mg/mL, 2 mg/mL)
Classification of drugs: Miscellaneous antineoplastics

What is Arsenic trioxide?

Arsenic trioxide can be used to treat the form of cancer of bone marrow and blood called acute promyelocytic (pro-MYE-loe-SIT-ik) leukaemia, also known as APL.Arsenic trioxide can be used in conjunction with another medication known as Tretinoin.Arsenic trioxide could also be used for different uses that are not covered in this medication guide.

Side effects of Arsenic trioxide

See a doctor immediately. If you are experiencing warning signs of an allergic response, such as symptoms of hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of your lips, face, tongue, throat, or face,Arsenic trioxide may cause a condition known as differentiation syndrome. It affects blood cells and could be fatal if not addressed. The condition can manifest in the first day to two months following the start of the treatment with arsenic trioxide.

Take immediate medical advice. If you are suffering from the following symptoms:

  • High fever, cough, trouble breathing
  • Dizziness;
  • Rash;
  • Less frequent urination;
  • Rapid weight growth and
  • Swelling of your legs or arms.

Contact your doctor immediately. If you suffer from:

  • Heartbeats that are fast or rapid, chest fluttering, shortness of breath, and a sudden feeling of dizziness (like you're going to faint);
  • Diminished consciousness, confusion
  • Issues with balance, vision, or muscle movements;
  • A seizure;
  • Fever, tiredness, night sweats;
  • Bleeding or bruising;
  • Blood sugar levels are high—increased thirst, more frequent urinary frequency, dry mouth, and fruity breath smell;
  • Low magnesium—dizziness, irregular heartbeats, feeling jittery, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, coughing or choking feeling;
  • Lower potassium—leg cramps constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering around your chest, and increased thirst or urination tingling or numbness, muscles becoming weak, or a limp sensation

Common negative side effects of arsenic trioxide include:

  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea;
  • Cough, sore throat, trouble breathing
  • Frequent chills, fatigue, headaches, and joint pain
  • Irregular or fast heartbeats;
  • Tingling sensations or numbness
  • Low potassium or magnesium levels low potassium or magnesium, high blood sugar
  • Itching, rash;
  • Swelling;
  • Muscle or joint discomfort muscle or joint pain
  • Difficulty sleep.

This list does not represent all possible side effects. Others could happen. Contact your physician for advice regarding medical effects. Report any adverse reactions directly to the FDA by calling their toll free number 1-800-FDA-1088.

Similar/related drugs

tretinoin, vesanoid, and trisenox


Arsenic trioxide is a known cause of the condition known as differentiation syndrome. It affects blood cells. It can cause death if not treated. The condition can manifest in the first few days or months after starting to take this medication.Take immediate medical assistance. If you experience indications of differentiation syndrome such as dizziness, fever, difficulty breathing, coughing, swelling, or weight gain that is rapid or a decrease in urine output,Arsenic trioxide may cause serious heart issues. The risk is higher in the event that you also take other medications. Discuss with your doctor the medicines you are currently taking and all the ones you begin or stop taking.Contact emergency medical assistance. If you experience rapid or pounding heartbeats, a flutter within your chest, shortness of breath, or sudden dizziness,

Before you take this drug

It is not recommended to treat with arsenic trioxide if you are sensitive to it.

Speak to your physician immediately if you've ever suffered from:

  • Heart conditions as well as a cardiac rhythm problem;
  • The long qt disorder (in the case of you or family members);
  • An electrolyte imbalance (such as low concentrations of magnesium, potassium, or magnesium in the blood);
  • Kidney disease kidney disease
  • Liver disease.

Arsenic trioxide may harm a newborn baby in the event that either the father or mother is making use of arsenic trioxide.

  • If you're pregnant, do not use arsenic trioxide. Utilise the most effective contraception to avoid the possibility of pregnancy while taking this medicine and for at least six months following the last dose.
  • If you're male, use effective birth control if you are a partner with someone who can get pregnant. Continue using birth control for a minimum of 3 months following the last dose.
  • Contact your physician immediately when you notice a pregnancy in the presence of either the father or arsenic trioxide.

It might be difficult to induce pregnancy when you're taking this medication. However, you should utilise birth control to avoid pregnancies because this medicine could affect a newborn baby.Don't breastfeed during the course of this medication for at least 2 weeks following the last dose.

How to take Arsenic trioxide?

Arsenic trioxide injections are delivered as an injection into the vein. Your healthcare professional will offer the injection.There is a possibility that you will require regular medical tests to make sure the medication isn't causing negative side effects. The treatment for cancer may be delayed, depending on the results.You might also be prescribed additional medications to prevent adverse side effects or allergic reactions. Use these medications as long as your physician prescribes them.You should be under the supervision of a physician when you use arsenic trioxide.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia:

INDUCTION Cycle: 0.15 mg/kg IV over 1 to 2 hours twice daily until the bone marrow is in remission, or for a maximum of 60 days.
CONSOLIDATION CYCLE: 0.15 mg/kg IV over 1 to 2 hours daily for 25 doses in a time of up to five weeks; start consolidation between 3 and 6 weeks following the completion of the induction therapy.
Utilisation to induce remission and consolidation in patients suffering from acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) who have been resistant to or have had a relapse from retinoid and anthracycline chemotherapy APL is defined by the presence of t(15;17) translocation or PML/RAR/alpha gene expression.

Usual Paediatric Dose for Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia:

INDUCTION Cycle: 0.15 mg/kg IV over 1 to 2 hours once daily until bone marrow has returned, or for a maximum of 60 days.
CONSOLIDATION CYCLE: 0.15 mg/kg IV over a period of 1 to 2 hours every day for 25 doses in a time of up to five weeks; start consolidation between 3 and six weeks after the end of induction therapy.
Use for: Induction of remission and consolidation of patients suffering from acute promyelocytic lymphoma (APL) who have resisted or who have had a relapse from retinoid or anthracycline chemotherapy. APL is identified through the existence of t(15;17) translocation, or PML/RAR alpha gene expression.

What happens if I miss the dose?

Consult your physician for the proper procedure. If you do not show up for an injection,

What happens if I overdose?

Get medical attention in an emergency or contact the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should be avoided?

Follow the doctor's advice regarding any restrictions on your food, drink, or activities.

Interaction with other drug

Arsenic trioxide may cause serious heart issues. The risk is greater if you are also taking certain other drugs to treat asthma, infections, and heart conditions, as well as high blood pressure, depression, mental illness, malaria, cancer, or HIV.Other medications can alter the effects of arsenic trioxide, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Discuss with your doctor your current medications and any medication you begin or stop taking.