How is Vyxeos administered and how long do you take it for?
Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on April 27, 2020.
- Vyxeous is administered by an infusion into the vein over 90 minutes.
- A full Vyxeos course usually consists of one or two initial cycles (called induction cycles) followed by up to 2 more cycles called consolidation cycles.
- The first induction cycle is usually given on days 1, 3, and 5. Induction cycles are typically a higher dosage than consolidation cycles.
- The full cycle of Vyxeos may be given over a period of six to 14 weeks depending on the number of cycles given.
Vyxeos is a combination chemotherapy medication containing daunorubicin and cytarabine.
It may be used to treat adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) caused by previous chemotherapy treatment or AML with myelodysplasia-related changes (AML-MRC).
AML happens when young abnormal white blood cells called blasts, begin to fill up the bone marrow, preventing normal blood production. Doctors diagnose AML when 20 out of every 100 white blood cells in the bone marrow are blast cells.
Vyxeos is a first-of-its-kind formulation that combines two commonly used drugs for AML, daunorubicin, and cytarabine in a 1:5 molar ratio and encapsulates them in tiny bubble-like carriers called liposomes. This is given via an infusion into the vein over 90 minutes. Vyxeos is colored purple.
A full Vyxeos course usually consists of one or two initial cycles (called induction cycles) followed by up to 2 more cycles called consolidation cycles. The actual dosage given of Vyxeos is calculated according to a person’s body surface area, which is calculated based on their height and weight. Anti-nausea medications are usually administered about 30 minutes before Vyxeos is given.
A typical dosing schedule for Vxyeos is as follows:
- First induction: Vxyeos at a dosage of daunorubicin 44mg/m2 and cytarabine 100 mg/m2 given on days 1,3 and 5.
- Second induction: Vxyeos at a dosage of daunorubicin 44mg/m2 and cytarabine 100 mg/m2 given on days 1 and 3.
- Consolidation: Vxyeos at a dosage of daunorubicin 29mg/m2 and cytarabine 65 mg/m2 given on days 1 and 3.
A second induction cycle may be administered 2 to 5 weeks after the first in patients who do not achieve remission with the first induction cycle, if there was no unacceptable toxicity with Vyxeos. The first consolidation cycle is usually administered 5 to 8 weeks after the start of the last induction.
Once Vyxeos is infused into a vein, the liposomes carry the drugs (daunorubicin and cytarabine) to the bone marrow where they are taken up to a greater extent by leukemia cells compared to normal cells. Once inside the leukemia cells, the liposomes release the drugs and help kill the leukemic cells.
- Vyxeos (daunorubicin and cytarabine) [Package Insert] Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. https://www.drugs.com/pro/vyxeos.html
- Daunorubicin and Cytarabine (Liposomal) Chemocare. https://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/daunorubicin-and-cytarabine-liposomal.aspx