Chemotherapy Medication

Study of Cytarabine Injection: A Chemotherapy Medication

  • August 17, 2021
  • 3 mins read
Cytarabine injection

What is Cytarabine?

Cytarabine is an anti-cancer medication. Cytarabine chemotherapy injection is used for the treatment of some types of leukaemia (cancer affecting the blood) and lymphomas (cancer of the lymph glands). This chemo drug may be used along with other anticancer drugs. You must discuss with your doctor in case you do not feel good or if you feel worse.

How to use Cytarabine injection?

Always use cytarabine injection exactly as your doctor has instructed you. This chemotherapy medicine may be administered by injection (using a syringe) under the skin (subcutaneous) or into a vein (intravenous). This chemo agent may also be administered by infusion (drip) into a vein. If administered as an infusion, Cytarabine 100 mg/ml Injection will be diluted first. The injection of cytarabine must not be injected intrathecally (into the spine).

Recommended Dose: Your healthcare team will work out the correct dosage of cytarabine for you and how often this injection must be administered. The cytarabine dose will depend on the patient’s medical condition, their size and how appropriately their liver is working. A healthcare practitioner will inform how well a patient’s liver is working by performing blood tests. Patients will have regular blood tests following their dosage of cytarabine to assess for adverse reactions. All these tests can be performed more often in case patient’s are elderly, as they may be more likely to get some adverse reactions. The cytarabine uses may have to be interrupted if their blood cell count drops too low.

Side Effects: Common cytarabine side effects include vomiting, bone marrow suppression, diarrhea, liver problems, ulcer formation in the mouth, bleeding and rash. Certain other severe side effects of cytarabine include lung disease, loss of consciousness, and allergic reactions.

Special Warnings and Precautions for Use:

  • Cytarabine therapy strongly decreases the blood cell formation in the bone marrow. This could make patient’s a bit more prone to infections/bleeding. Healthcare team will test blood at the regular basis and examine patients for bone marrow if needed.
  • Sometimes serious & life-threatening adverse reactions may occur in the central nervous system, the bowels or lungs. 
  • Monitor patient’s for liver and kidney functions while on therapy with the drug cytarabine. In case liver is not working appropriately before therapy, inj cytarabine should be administered only with utmost care.
  • The uric acid (indicating that the cancerous cells are killed) level in patient’s blood (hyperuricaemia) may be excess while on treatment. Respective doctor will inform you in case you require to take any other drug to control this.
  • Use of medication 5-Fluorocytosine is not recommended with cytarabine as the therapeutic efficacy of medicine 5-Fluorocytosine has been demonstrated to be abolished while on therapy.
  • Nursing women are advised to not breast-feeding prior to initiating cytarabine therapy because it may be harmful to infants being breast-fed.
  • Pregnancy should be avoided while you or your partner is being treated with cytarabine injection. In case you are sexually active, you are advised to consider appropriate birth control for the prevention of pregnancy while on treatment, whether you’re male or female.

Contraindication: Therapy with Cytarabine 100 mg/ml Injection is not recommended to be used in recipients with pre-existing drug-induced bone marrow suppression unless the specialist favours that such management provides the most hopeful alternative for the patient. The cytarabine 100 mg/ml Injection is not recommended for managing the non-malignant disease, excluding immunosuppression.

Overdose & Missed Dose: The Cytarabine injection will be administered to patient’s in a hospital, under the supervision of a qualified doctor. It is quite unlikely that patient’s will be administered excess or less, however, inform a doctor/nurse if patient’s have any concerns.

Storage: Keep the cytarabine injection out of the reach as well as sight of children. Avoid storing above 25°C. Keep the cytarabine vial in the outer carton for protecting from light. It is not recommended to refrigerate or freeze it.

Note: The piece of information in this article is just for informational purposes and is not served as a substitute for medical treatment, consultation, diagnosis, of an experienced/qualified healthcare practitioner.

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