Erwinaze

Generic Name: asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi (as PAR a jin ase er WIN ee a kri SAN the mee)
Brand Names: Erwinaze

What is Erwinaze?

Erwinaze is an injectable medicine containing asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi. Asparaginase is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Erwinaze is used to treat acute lymphocytic lymphoma.

Erwinaze may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not receive Erwinaze if you are allergic to asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi, or if you have received asparaginase (Elspar) in the past and it caused you to have serious pancreas problems, a blood clot, or serious bleeding problems.

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Some people develop a life-threatening allergic reaction to asparaginase. You will need to receive Erwinaze in a hospital or clinic setting to quickly treat any serious side effects that occur. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Erwinaze: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as severe pain in your upper stomach, nausea and vomiting, easy bruising or bleeding, increased thirst of urination, sudden numbness or severe headache, warmth or swelling in your legs, or sudden problems with your vision, speech, or balance.

Before taking this medicine

You should not receive Erwinaze if you are allergic to asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi, or if you have received asparaginase (Elspar) in the past and it caused you to have:

  • serious pancreas problems;

  • a blood clots; or

  • serious bleeding problems.

To make sure you can safely use Erwinaze, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • diabetes;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia;

  • a history of blood clots; or

  • a history of pancreas problems.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Erwinaze will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Erwinaze. It is not known whether asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

You should not breast-feed while you are using Erwinaze.

How should I take Erwinaze?

Erwinaze is injected into a muscle.

Some people develop a life-threatening allergic reaction to asparaginase. You will need to receive this medicine in a hospital or clinic setting to quickly treat any serious side effects that occur.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Erwinaze injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since Erwinaze is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Asparaginase can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.

Erwinaze side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Erwinaze: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • any bleeding that will not stop;

  • fever;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;

  • sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;

  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs; or

  • high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss).

Less serious Erwinaze side effects may include:

  • mild nausea;

  • diarrhea; or

  • mild stomach pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Erwinaze?

There may be other drugs that can interact with Erwinaze. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Erwinaze.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Erwinaze only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: 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 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.02. Revision Date: 2013-07-01, 11:17:11 AM.

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