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All about: Arranon

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Generic Name: nelarabine (nel AY re been)
Brand Names: Arranon

What is nelarabine?

Nelarabine interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Nelarabine is used to treat T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma.

Nelarabine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about nelarabine?

Nelarabine may cause serious side effects of the central nervous system, such as problems with balance, coordination, or fine motor skills. These symptoms may not go away even after you stop receiving nelarabine. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about any possible long-term side effects.

Do not receive this medication if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Nelarabine can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill.

Nelarabine is given as an injection into a vein. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection while you are in a clinic or hospital setting. Nelarabine must be injected slowly through an IV(intravenous) needle. Each injection may take up to two (2) hours to complete.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with nelarabine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.

Nelarabine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving nelarabine?

Do not receive this medication if you are allergic to nelarabine, or if you have kidney disease. You may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • a nerve disorder;

  • a history of radiation treatment of your head, neck, or spinal cord; or

  • a history of cancer medicine injected around your spinal cord.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use nelarabine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not receive nelarabine if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are receiving this medication. It is not known whether nelarabine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I receive nelarabine?

Nelarabine is given as an injection into a vein. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection while you are in a clinic or hospital setting.

Nelarabine must be injected slowly through an IV(intravenous) needle. Each injection may take up to two (2) hours to complete.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your nervous system and kidney function may also need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss an appointment to receive your nelarabine injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a nelarabine overdose may include paralysis or coma.

What should I avoid while receiving nelarabine?

Avoid coming into contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses during your treatment with nelarabine. Nelarabine can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill.

Do not receive vaccines that contain live strains of a virus (a "live" vaccine) while you are being treated with nelarabine. Avoid coming into contact with people who have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.

Nelarabine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Nelarabine side effects

Nelarabine may cause serious side effects of the central nervous system. These symptoms may not go away even after you stop receiving nelarabine. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about any possible long-term side effects.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • confusion or clumsiness;

  • lack of balance or coordination;

  • weakness or trouble walking;

  • numbness and tingling in the hands, fingers, feet, or toes;

  • problems with buttoning clothes or picking up small items with your fingers;

  • blurred vision;

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • black, bloody or tarry stools; or

  • fever, chills, or signs of infection.

Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • cough;

  • headache;

  • mild stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;

  • redness, pain, or swelling where the IV needle was placed; or

  • weakness, dizziness, extreme sleepiness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect nelarabine?

Before receiving nelarabine, tell your doctor if you are also using pentostatin (Nipent).

There may be other drugs that can affect nelarabine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your healthcare provider may have additional information about nelarabine that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Nelarabine is available with a prescription under the brand name Arranon. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • 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.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02. Revision Date: 8/10/06 12:27:44 PM.

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