Generic Name: glucarpidase (gloo KAR pi dase)
Brand Name: Voraxaze
What is glucarpidase?
Glucarpidase is used in patients who develop kidney failure while receiving high doses of methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug).
Glucarpidase is an enzyme that breaks down methotrexate in the body so the drug can be easily eliminated when the kidneys are not working properly.
Glucarpidase may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about glucarpidase?
If possible before you receive glucarpidase, tell your doctor if you are also being treated with leucovorin. In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you have received this medicine.
Tell your caregiver right away if you have any symptoms of a reaction to the glucarpidase injection: severe dizziness or weakness, severe nausea, cold sweat, itching, numbness or tingly feeling, sudden headache, fast heartbeats, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or if you feel like you might pass out.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving glucarpidase?
If possible before you receive glucarpidase, tell your doctor if you are also being treated with leucovorin.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether glucarpidase will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether glucarpidase passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medication.
How is glucarpidase given?
Glucarpidase is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Glucarpidase is usually given as a single injection. The IV infusion will take about 5 minutes to complete.
Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated while you are using glucarpidase. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink.
To make sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since glucarpidase is used as a single dose, it does not have a daily dosing schedule.
What happens if I overdose?
Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid after receiving glucarpidase?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Glucarpidase side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Some people receiving a glucarpidase injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you have:
severe dizziness or weakness;
severe nausea, feeling like you might pass out;
cold sweat, itching, numbness or tingly feeling;
fast heartbeats, chest tightness; or
Common side effects may include:
mild headache; or
mild numbness or tingling.
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)
Glucarpidase dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Methotrexate Overdosage:
Single IV injection of 50 Units/kg
Use: Treatment of toxic plasma methotrexate concentrations (greater than 1 micromole per liter) in patients with delayed methotrexate clearance due to impaired renal function.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Methotrexate Overdosage:
Children 1 month of age or older: Single IV injection of 50 units/kg
Use: Treatment of toxic plasma methotrexate concentrations ( greater than 1 micromole per liter) in patients with delayed methotrexate clearance due to impaired renal function.
What other drugs will affect glucarpidase?
Other drugs may interact with glucarpidase, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, especially leucovorin.
More about glucarpidase
- Other brands: Voraxaze
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about glucarpidase.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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