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All about: Nelarabine

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Generic Name: Nelarabine (nel-AR-a-been)
Brand Name: Arranon

Nelarabine is for intravenous (IV, into the vein) use only.

Severe nervous system problems, including mental or mood changes; severe drowsiness; seizures; numbness, burning, prickling, or tingling of the skin, hands, or feet; weakness; and paralysis, have been reported with the use if Nelarabine . Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. These symptoms may not go away even after you stop using Nelarabine .


Nelarabine is used for:

Treating leukemia or lymphoma in certain patients. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Nelarabine is an antineoplastic agent. It works by blocking the growth of cancer cells.

Do NOT use Nelarabine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Nelarabine
  • you are using an adenosine deaminase inhibitor (eg, pentostatin)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Nelarabine :

Some medical conditions may interact with Nelarabine . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have bone marrow problems or nervous system, kidney, or liver problems
  • if you have a history of gout or high uric acid levels
  • if you have a history of chemotherapy or radiation treatment or you have recently had a vaccination

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Nelarabine . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Adenosine deaminase inhibitors (eg, pentostatin) because they may decrease Nelarabine 's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Nelarabine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Nelarabine :

Use Nelarabine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Nelarabine . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Nelarabine is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • If you miss a dose of Nelarabine , contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Nelarabine .

Important safety information:

  • Nelarabine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Nelarabine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Nelarabine may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Nelarabine may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Do not receive a live vaccine (eg, measles, mumps) while you are taking Nelarabine . Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
  • Diabetes patients - Nelarabine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Discuss with your doctor the use of effective contraception (birth control) while you are using Nelarabine .
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Nelarabine . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Nelarabine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially nervous system problems.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Nelarabine may cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Nelarabine while you are pregnant. It is not known if Nelarabine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Nelarabine .

Possible side effects of Nelarabine :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Blurred vision; constipation; cough; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; loss of appetite; muscle, joint, or back pain; nausea; stomach pain; stuffy nose; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; coma; confusion; depression; fast heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; loss of coordination; memory loss; mental or mood changes; numbness, burning, prickling, or tingling of the skin, hands, or feet; paralysis; seizures; severe drowsiness; shortness of breath; stomach swelling; swelling or the hands, feet, or legs; unusual bruising or bleeding; weakness; wheezing.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include coma; paralysis.

Proper storage of Nelarabine :

Nelarabine is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Nelarabine at home, store Nelarabine as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Nelarabine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Nelarabine , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Nelarabine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Nelarabine . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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