Nelarabine (Injection)

Introduction

Nelarabine (nel-AR-a-been)

Treats certain kinds of leukemias and lymphomas.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Arranon

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to nelarabine or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • If you store this medicine at home, keep it at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Tell your doctor if you have ever been treated with cancer drugs in the past.
  • Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have nervous system problems, or kidney problems.
  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • This medicine may make you drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Extreme sleepiness.
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands, fingers, feet, or toes.
  • Problems with balance or walking.
  • Problems with fine motor skills such as buttoning clothes.
  • Seizures.
  • Weakness and paralysis.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Body aches, muscle cramps or joint pains.
  • Diarrhea, or constipation.
  • Dry mouth and increased thirst.
  • Fever, chills, cough, and sore throat.
  • Headache, sleepiness, and blurry eyesight.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Tiredness and trouble breathing.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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