Cytarabine Liposome - Injection

Pronunciation: sye-TARE-ah-been lye-poe-SEW-mull

Common Brand Name(s): Depocyt

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Warning

This medication sometimes causes an inflammation of the brain (arachnoiditis), which may rarely be fatal. Before your treatment with this medication, your doctor will direct you to take another drug (dexamethasone) to help prevent this side effect or to make it less serious if it does occur. Follow your doctor's directions carefully. Tell your doctor right away if any of these side effects occur: nausea, vomiting, headache, neck pain/stiffness, back pain, fever.

Uses

Cytarabine liposome is a long-acting (sustained-release) chemotherapy drug used to treat cancer in the area around the spinal cord (lymphomatous meningitis). It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How To Use

This medication is given by injection into the spinal fluid over 1 to 5 minutes by a health care professional. It is usually given every 14 days or as directed by your doctor.

After receiving this medication, you will be instructed to lie flat for 1 hour.

The dosage and length of treatment depends on your medical condition and response to treatment. After several months, your doctor may only give this drug every 28 days (maintenance dose).

To reduce the risk of serious side effects, your doctor will give you other medication(s) such as dexamethasone before and for several days following your treatment. It is very important that you use this medication as directed. Tell you doctor right away if you cannot take the dexamethasone (for example, because of vomiting), if you vomit just after taking dexamethasone, or if you miss a dose.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, or fever may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly.

People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • headache
  • tingling/numbness
  • muscle pain
  • back pain
  • neck pain/stiffness
  • seizures
  • swelling
  • loss of bladder/bowel control
  • unusual weakness/tiredness
  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • signs of infection (e.g., persistent sore throat)
  • mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion)

Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:

  • weakness/loss of movement on one side of the body
  • vision changes (including blindness)
  • hearing changes

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • 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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

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:

  • brain infections (such as bacterial/fungal/viral meningitis)
  • other chemotherapy or radiation treatment

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

Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections. Avoid contact with people who have illnesses that may spread to others (e.g., flu, chickenpox).

To lower your chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.

This drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm the unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • digoxin
  • other cancer chemotherapy drugs

This product can affect the results of certain lab tests (e.g., white blood cell counts in CSF), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood count) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule.

Storage

Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

Thanks to our partners and endorsers: