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Cytarabine

Name of the generic: cytarabine [sye-TAR-a-been]
Names of brands: Cytosar-U, Tarabine PFS, Cytosar
Dosage form: injectable solution (100 mg/mL; 20 mg/mL)
Drug class: antimetabolites

What is Cytarabine?

Cytarabine is a component of different cancer medications to treat specific forms of leukemia (blood cancers). Cytarabine is also employed for treating or preventing leukemia, which is often associated with meningitis. Cytarabine cannot treat meningitis infection. Cytarabine is also used for reasons not mentioned in this guideline for medication.

Side effects of Cytarabine

See a doctor immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of your lips, face, or tongue,

Cytarabine may cause serious adverse effects on your brain or central nervous system that are not irreversible. Cytarabine is often prescribed with steroid medication to reduce the effects of these side effects.

Cytarabine can cause severe adverse effects. Contact your physician immediately if you suffer from:

  • Extreme tiredness and confusion, as well as unusual thoughts or behaviors;
  • Fever, chills, and body aches. Feeling very sick;
  • Stomach discomfort, bloating, nausea, vomiting, or stool that is bloody or tarry;
  • The loss of movement in any area of your body.
  • Issues with the liver, such as a loss in appetite; right-sided stomach pain and dark urine jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin);
  • Red blood cells: pale skin, no bleeding, unusual fatigue, feeling lightheaded, cold hands and feet;
  • Breathing problems, pain in your chest when breathing, the feeling of having your breath shorten in a sitting position, cough with foamy mucus, or
  • Symptoms of an eye infection: swelling, redness, severe pain, or crusting;

The treatment for cancer may be delayed or discontinued permanently when you experience certain adverse consequences.

Common adverse effects of cytarabine could include:

  • Liver issues;
  • Fever;
  • Bleeding;
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • Mouth sores;
  • Rectal pain, sores, or achy bowels
  • Rashes or
  • Bruises where the injection was made.

This isn't a complete list of all the side effects. Other side effects could occur. Contact your physician to seek medical advice on adverse effects. You can report any symptoms to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Warnings

Cytarabine could increase your chance of getting a blood clot or an infection. Contact your doctor if you notice unusual bleeding, bruising, or symptoms of an infection (fever, chills, or body pains).

Cytarabine may result in serious side effects on your brain or central nervous system that are not irreparable. Inform your physician if you find yourself confused or experience strange thoughts or behaviors.

Prior to use this drug

It is not recommended to treat with cytarabine if sensitive to it.

Speak to your doctor if you were ever diagnosed with:

  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Epilepsy or any other seizures; or
  • A head injury or brain tumor.

Cytarabine can cause harm to a baby who is not yet born. Use effective birth control to avoid pregnancy, and inform your physician if you are pregnant. It is not recommended to breastfeed while you're receiving Cytarabine.

How to take Cytarabine?

Cytarabine can be administered via an injection needle placed in a vein, underneath the skin, or in the spinal cord's space. A healthcare professional can give you the injection. Cytarabine can be prescribed for a short period of time at a time. Be sure to follow your doctor's dosage instructions extremely carefully. After you have received an injection, you will be monitored closely to ensure there aren't any severe adverse consequences. Cytarabine may increase the chance of getting a bleeding infection or a blood clot. You'll require regular medical tests.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for Acute Nonlymphocytic Leukemia:

The induction of chemotherapy as part of combination therapy
100 mg/m2 per day via constant IV injection (Days 1–7) and 100 mg/m2 intravenous once every 12 hours (Days 1–7)

Utilization: Acute lymphocytic leukemia

Usual Adult Dose for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia:

The local and/or national protocols, as well as the literature, must be reviewed.

Use: acute lymphocytic leukemia

Usual Adult Dose for Meningeal Leukemia:

The dosage ranges from 5 mg/m2 up to 75 mg/m2 administered intrathecally, once each day for 4 days, or once every four days (30 mg/m2 every four days until cerebrospinal fluid tests are normal, then another treatment, which is the most often utilized dosage).

Comments:
Only the formulation that is free of preservatives for this medication should be given to the gastrointestinal tract.

Use: Meningeal leukemia

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acute Nonlymphocytic Leukemia:

Induction as a component of combination chemotherapy
100 mg/m2 daily via constant IV injection (Days 1–7) and 100 mg/m2 intravenous every 12 hours (Days 1–7)

Comments:
Children seem to be able to take greater doses of this drug than adults. - Where the dose range is provided, children must receive the highest dose.

Use: Acute Lyocytic Leukemia

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia:

The local and/or national protocols, as well as the literature, must be reviewed.

Use: Acute Lyocytic Leukemia

Usual Pediatric Dose for Meningeal Leukemia:

The dosage ranges from 5 mg/m2 up to 75 mg/m2 intrathecally twice each day for 4 days or every 4 days (30 mg/m2 every four days) until cerebrospinal fluid results are normal. This is followed by another treatment that is the most commonly utilized dosage.

Comments:
Children seem to be able to take greater doses of this drug than adults. In cases where the dosage range is provided, children must receive the highest dose.
Only the non-preservative formulation of this medication is recommended to be given in the gastrointestinal tract.

Utilization: Meningeal leukemia

What happens if I miss the dose?

Contact your doctor for advice in the event that you don't make an appointment to receive your Cytarabine injection.

What happens if I overdose?

For medical emergencies, seek emergency medical attention or contact the Poison Help Line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

What should be avoided?

Beware of being around those who are sick or suffering from infections. Contact your doctor right away in the event that you show symptoms of an infection.

Interaction with other drugs

Inform your doctor about all other medications, including:

  • Digoxin, digitalis;
  • Fluorocytosine or
  • Gentamicin.

This list isn't exhaustive. Other drugs can interact with the cytarabine effect, including medications that are prescribed and available over the counter, vitamins, and herbal products. There are many possible interactions between drugs. are included here.