Generic Name: asparaginase (ass-PAR-ah-jin-ase)
Brand Name: Elspar
Elspar should only be given by an experienced health care provider in a medical setting. Do not inhale medicine dust or vapors or allow contact with skin or mucous membranes.
Elspar is used for:
Treating acute lymphocytic leukemia. It is generally used in combination with other medicines to induce remission. It is not to be used to maintain remission.
Elspar is an antineoplastic. It works by stopping tumor cell growth by blocking the production of required proteins.
Do NOT use Elspar if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Elspar
- you have shingles, chickenpox, or an inflammation of the pancreas
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Elspar:
Some medical conditions may interact with Elspar. 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 an infection or liver insufficiency, or you are receiving radiation therapy
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Elspar. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Cytarabine because toxic effects may occur
- Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) or methotrexate because the effectiveness of these medicines may be decreased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Elspar 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 Elspar:
Use Elspar as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Elspar is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- Elspar is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
- If Elspar contains particles or is discolored or cloudy, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
- If Elspar accidentally spills on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water. If Elspar comes into contact with your eyes, wash eyes with water for at least 15 minutes. If inhaled, remove from exposure. Contact your doctor immediately.
- If nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite occur, ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
- If you miss a dose of Elspar, contact your doctor immediately.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Elspar.
Important safety information:
- Elspar may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
- Avoid vaccinations with live virus vaccines (eg, measles, mumps, oral polio) while you are taking Elspar. Vaccinations may be less effective.
- Diabetes patients - Elspar may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- LAB TESTS, including blood cell counts, uric acid levels, amylase, and blood glucose, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use Elspar with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Elspar during pregnancy. It is unknown if Elspar is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Elspar.
Possible side effects of Elspar:
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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Agitation; chills; confusion; depression; drowsiness; fatigue; fever; headache; hives; irritability; joint pain; loss of appetite; muscle pain; nausea; rash; vomiting; weight loss.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); agitation; change in the amount of urine; coma; confusion; dark urine; hallucinations; high fever; joint pain; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; seizures; stomach pain; tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of Elspar:
Store Elspar in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Elspar out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Elspar, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Elspar 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.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Elspar or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Elspar. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Elspar. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Elspar.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More Elspar resources
- Elspar Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Elspar Escherichia coli Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- Elspar Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Elspar Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information