Generic Name: Arsenic Trioxide (AR se nik tri OKS id)
Brand Name: Trisenox
- This medicine may cause a very bad and sometimes deadly type of heartbeat that is not normal (long QT on ECG, torsades de pointes). The chance may be raised if you take amphotericin B or some types of water pills (diuretics), if you have low potassium or magnesium levels, or if you have heart failure. The chance may also be raised if you have ever had a long QT on ECG or torsades de pointes. Talk with your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor if you are taking any drugs that can cause a certain type of heartbeat that is not normal (prolonged QT interval). There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- You will need an ECG before starting arsenic trioxide and during treatment. Talk with your doctor.
- You will need your blood work checked before starting this medicine and during treatment. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may cause a very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called retinoic-acid-APL syndrome. Call your doctor right away if you have fever, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, or sudden weight gain.
Uses of Arsenic Trioxide:
- It is used to treat a type of leukemia.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Arsenic Trioxide?
- If you have an allergy to arsenic trioxide or any other part of arsenic trioxide.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this medicine.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take arsenic trioxide with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Arsenic Trioxide?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- This medicine may add to the chance of getting some types of cancer. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools (diarrhea), or are not hungry, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor. This medicine may raise blood sugar.
- Check your blood sugar as you have been told by your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you have signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- If you are 65 or older, use arsenic trioxide with care. You could have more side effects.
- If you are a man and have sex with a female who could get pregnant, protect her from pregnancy during care and for some time after care ends. Use birth control that you can trust. Talk with your doctor to see how long to use birth control after you stop this medicine.
- If you are a man and your sex partner gets pregnant while you take arsenic trioxide or within several months after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy during care and for some time after care ends. Talk with your doctor to see how long to use birth control after you stop this medicine.
- If you get pregnant while taking arsenic trioxide or within several months after the last dose, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Arsenic Trioxide) best taken?
Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
- Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, seizures, not hungry, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Very bad headache.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Low mood (depression).
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Blurred eyesight.
- Shortness of breath.
- Fast breathing.
What are some other side effects of Arsenic Trioxide?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Belly pain.
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Not hungry.
- Weight gain or loss.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Dry mouth.
- Not able to sleep.
- Feeling sleepy.
- Bone, joint, or muscle pain.
- Back pain.
- Sweating a lot.
- Pain where the shot was given.
- Redness or swelling where the shot is given.
- Eye irritation.
- Pain in arms or legs.
- Dry skin.
- Neck pain.
- Pale skin.
- Skin irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Arsenic Trioxide?
- If you need to store arsenic trioxide at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take arsenic trioxide or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. 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 arsenic trioxide. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
Review Date: September 6, 2017
More about arsenic trioxide
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 1 Review – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: miscellaneous antineoplastics
Other brands: Trisenox