Asparaginase injection will no longer be available in the U.S. after December 31, 2012. If you are currently receiving asparaginase injection, you should talk to your doctor to discuss switching to another treatment.
Asparaginase is used with other chemotherapy drugs to treat a certain type of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL; a type of cancer of the white blood cells). Asparaginase is an enzyme that interferes with natural substances necessary for cancer cell growth. It works by killing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
Asparaginase comes as a powder to be added to fluid and injected into a muscle or infused intravenously (into a vein) over 30 minutes by a doctor or nurse in a medical office or hospital outpatient clinic. It is usually given three times a week.
Asparaginase is also sometimes used to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML; a type of cancer of the white blood cells) in children and to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL; a type of cancer that begins in a type of white blood cells that normally fights infection) in children and adults. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
loss of appetite
ongoing pain that begins in the stomach area, but may spread to the back
hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
swelling of the face, arms, or legs
yellowing of the skin or eyes
pain in the upper right part of the stomach
dark colored urine
Asparaginase may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
This medication will be stored at your doctor's office or clinic.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to asparaginase.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 11/15/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.