Generic name: Cytarabine (Liposomal) [ sye-TARE-a-been-lye-po-SO-mal ]
Brand name: DepoCyt
Drug class: Antimetabolites
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 12, 2023.
- This medicine may cause brain irritation (chemical arachnoiditis). Death can happen if this is not treated. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, headache, upset stomach, throwing up, back pain, or neck stiffness or pain. You will be closely watched by your doctor.
- Dexamethasone will be given before cytarabine (liposomal) to lower side effects.
Uses of Cytarabine:
- It is used to treat a type of cancer in the brain fluid.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Cytarabine?
- If you have an allergy to cytarabine or any other part of cytarabine (liposomal).
- If you are allergic to cytarabine (liposomal); any part of cytarabine (liposomal); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have a brain infection.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with cytarabine (liposomal).
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 cytarabine (liposomal) 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 Cytarabine?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take cytarabine (liposomal). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use of some vaccines with cytarabine (liposomal) may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- 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 while taking cytarabine (liposomal).
- If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking cytarabine (liposomal), call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Cytarabine) best taken?
Use cytarabine (liposomal) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given into the spine.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
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, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of fluid and electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad dizziness or passing out, fast heartbeat, more thirst, seizures, feeling very tired or weak, not hungry, unable to pass urine or change in the amount of urine produced, dry mouth, dry eyes, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- 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 high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Feeling very sleepy.
- Not able to move.
- Feeling confused.
- Change in balance.
- Very bad headache.
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Memory problems or loss.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Swelling in the arms or legs.
- Shortness of breath.
- This medicine may cause very bad and sometimes long-lasting nerve problems. Call your doctor right away if you have change in eyesight like loss of eyesight; change in hearing like hearing loss; not able to control bladder or bowels; burning, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet; or muscle weakness.
What are some other side effects of Cytarabine?
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:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Belly pain.
- Back pain.
- Not able to sleep.
- Not hungry.
- Joint pain.
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 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
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 Cytarabine?
- If you need to store cytarabine (liposomal) 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 all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about cytarabine (liposomal), 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.
More about cytarabine liposomal
- Check interactions
- Compare alternatives
- Side effects
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- Drug class: antimetabolites
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