Cytarabine

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Cytarabine for Injection USP, commonly known as ara-C, an antineoplastic for intravenous, intrathecal, or subcutaneous administration, contains sterile lyophilized cytarabine (1-?-D-Arabinofuranosylcytosine). Cytarabine is an odorless, white to off-white, crystalline powder which is freely soluble in water and slightly soluble in alcohol and in chloroform. Cytarabine is a synthetic nucleoside which differs from the normal nucleosides cytidine and deoxycytidine in that the sugar moiety is arabinose rather than ribose or deoxyribose. Its structural formula is:

Cytarabine  Structural Formula Illustration
C9H13N3O5..................M.W.=243.22

Cytarabine for Injection USP is available in vials containing 100 mg, 500 mg, 1 g, and 2 g cytarabine. When necessary, the pH of Cytarabine for Injection USP was adjusted with hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide. Reconstitute with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection USP with benzyl alchohol for intravenous and subcutaneous use only. Do not use this diluent intrathecally. See "WARNINGS" Section.

What are the possible side effects of cytarabine (Cytosar-U, Tarabine PFS)?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • eye pain or redness, problems with your vision;
  • sudden shortness of breath, dry cough;
  • unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • problems with urination;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • ...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Cytarabine

What are the precautions when taking cytarabine (Cytarabine)?

Before using cytarabine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: decreased bone marrow function/blood cell disorders (e.g., anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia), liver disease, kidney disease, gout.

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine.

Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports to lower the...

Read All Potential Precautions of Cytarabine


Cytarabine Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: See also the Warning section.

Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and pain/swelling/redness at the injection site may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, drug therapy may be needed to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Not eating before your treatment may help relieve vomiting. Changes in diet such as eating several small meals or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fever with body aches, muscle/bone pain, chest pain, eye redness/itching/pain, painful/difficult swallowing, anal sores, change in the amount of urine, painful/difficult urination, joint/side/back pain, pain/redness/swelling of the arms/legs/feet, numbness or tingling of hands/feet, freckling, big toe pain, trouble breathing, black/bloody stools, blood in the urine, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, vision problems, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion), unexplained drowsiness, unconsciousness, enlarged abdomen, trouble walking, muscle weakness, loss of coordination, inability to move (paralysis), seizures.

This medication can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Notify your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, chills, unusual cough, or persistent sore throat.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but get medical help right away if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before using cytarabine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: decreased bone marrow function/blood cell disorders (e.g., anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia), liver disease, kidney disease, gout.

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine.

Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised or injured.

Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby, especially in the first 3 months of pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss reliable forms of birth control. It is recommended that men and women use two effective forms of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pills) while taking this medication and for some period afterwards.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Cytarabine Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Cytosar-U, Tarabine PFS

Generic Name: cytarabine (Pronunciation: sye TAR a been)

  • What is cytarabine (Cytarabine)?
  • What are the possible side effects of cytarabine (Cytarabine)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about cytarabine (Cytarabine)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving cytarabine (Cytarabine)?
  • How is cytarabine given (Cytarabine)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Cytarabine)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Cytarabine)?
  • What should I avoid while receiving cytarabine (Cytarabine)?
  • What other drugs will affect cytarabine (Cytarabine)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is cytarabine (Cytarabine)?

Cytarabine is a cancer medication. Cytarabine interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread 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 may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of cytarabine (Cytarabine)?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • eye pain or redness, problems with your vision;
  • sudden shortness of breath, dry cough;
  • unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • problems with urination;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • fever, chest pain, muscle or bone pain, skin rash, tired feeling, and redness of the eyes (may occur 6 to 12 hours after your injection).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • mouth sores;
  • drowsiness, dizziness;
  • loss of appetite;
  • sores or swelling around your mouth or rectum;
  • sore throat;
  • hair loss; or
  • headache.

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 is the most important information I should know about cytarabine (Cytarabine)?

Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Before receiving cytarabine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have a breathing disorder such as asthma, or a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding.

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. Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

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.

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  • Cytarabine


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