Health Information

 

 

cytarabine

Pronunciation: sye TAR a been

Brand: Cytosar-U, Tarabine PFS

What is the most important information I should know about cytarabine?

Multum emt

Cytarabine can cause serious side effects on your brain or central nervous system that may not be reversible. Cytarabine is usually given together with a steroid medication to help lessen these side effects. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

Multum nopreg

Do not use cytarabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Before you receive cytarabine, tell your doctor if you have a seizure disorder or a history of head injury or brain tumor.

Multum emt

Cytarabine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Multum donot

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with cytarabine. The live vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.

What is cytarabine?

Cytarabine is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Cytarabine is used to treat certain types of leukemia (blood cancers). Cytarabine is also used to treat leukemia associated with meningitis.

Cytarabine will not treat an active meningitis infection that has already developed in the body.

Cytarabine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving cytarabine?

Multum emt

Cytarabine can cause serious side effects on your brain or central nervous system that may not be reversible. Cytarabine is usually given together with a steroid medication to help lessen these side effects. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

Multum donot

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to cytarabine.

To make sure you can safely receive cytarabine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or
  • a history of head injury or brain tumor.
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not receive cytarabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether cytarabine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are receiving cytarabine.

How is cytarabine given?

Cytarabine is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein, under the skin, or into the space around the spinal cord. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.

Cytarabine is usually given once every 2 to 4 weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when cytarabine is injected.

After receiving an injection in the space around your spinal cord, you will need to lie flat for at least 1 hour. You will be watched closely during this time to make sure you do not have serious side effects.

Multum emt

Cytarabine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your cytarabine injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving cytarabine?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Multum donot

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while receiving cytarabine. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine.

What are the possible side effects of cytarabine?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum donot

Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever with nausea, vomiting, and headache;
  • problems with your vision or hearing;
  • loss of movement in any part of your body;
  • loss of bowel or bladder control;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • trouble standing or walking,
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • pain or burning when you urinate;
  • feeling like you might pass out; or
  • feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, memory problems;
  • constipation, diarrhea, mild nausea;
  • back pain, pain in your arms or legs;
  • headache; or
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect cytarabine?

Tell your doctor if you take digoxin (Lanoxin).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with cytarabine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about cytarabine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2013 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01. Revision date: 11/7/2011.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read, understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.