asparaginase (generic name)

It is used to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
(L- a SPARE a gi nase)
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What is this medicine?

L-ASPARAGINASE (L- a SPARE a gi nase) is used to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). It is used in combination with other chemotherapy agents.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • bleeding disorder
  • diabetes or other problems with blood sugar
  • gout
  • history of pancreatitis
  • liver disease
  • take medicines that treat or prevent blood clots
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to L-asparaginase, e-coli proteins, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This drug is for infusion or slow injection into a vein. It is sometimes injected into a muscle. It will be given in a hospital or clinic by a trained health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. Contact your doctor or clinic if you cannot keep your appointment. It is very important to receive all your treatment as directed to achieve the best results.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • vaccines
  • warfarin

Talk to your doctor or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:

  • aspirin
  • acetaminophen
  • ibuprofen
  • ketoprofen
  • naproxen

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.

Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat. Do not treat yourself.

Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • feeling faint or lightheaded
  • confusion, agitation, or hallucinations
  • fever or chills, cough or sore throat
  • increased thirst
  • increased amount of urine passed
  • severe abdominal pain
  • severe and sudden headache
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, or swelling in a leg
  • swelling of any other parts of the body
  • tremors

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • weight loss

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: July 19, 2013
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