Elspar

Generic Name: asparaginase (as-PAR-a-jin-ase)
Brand Name: Elspar

Elspar is used for:

Treating acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). It is used along with other cancer medicines.

Elspar is an antineoplastic agent. It works by decreasing the amount of asparagine in the body, which kills certain leukemia cells.

Do NOT use Elspar if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Elspar or similar medicines
  • you have ever had serious blood clots, serious bleeding, or pancreatitis after using Elspar or similar medicines

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

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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 liver problems, bone marrow problems, diabetes or high blood sugar, or an infection
  • if you have a history of bleeding problems or blood clots

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Elspar. However, no specific interactions with Elspar are known at this time.

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.

  • Elspar is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • Do not use Elspar if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • 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:

  • Serious bleeding and blood clots have been reported with the use of Elspar and other similar medicines. Contact your doctor right away if you experience calf, leg, or arm pain, swelling, redness, or tenderness; chest pain; coughing up blood; one-sided weakness; shortness of breath; slurred speech; unusual bruising or bleeding; or vision problems.
  • Do not receive a live vaccine (eg, measles, mumps) while you are taking Elspar. Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
  • Elspar may cause a certain brain or nervous system problem called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of PRES (eg, confusion, severe or persistent headache or dizziness, seizures, vision changes).
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Elspar before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Elspar may raise your blood sugar. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
  • Diabetes patients - Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Lab tests, including blood clotting tests, liver function, or blood glucose, may be performed while you use Elspar. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Elspar while you are pregnant. It is not known if Elspar is found 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. No COMMON side effects have been reported with Elspar. 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); fever; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, pale stools, nausea, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, yellowing of the skin or eyes); symptoms of pancreatitis (eg, severe stomach or back pain with or without nausea or vomiting).

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:

Elspar is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. Keep Elspar out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • 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.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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.

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