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Glucarpidase

Generic Name: glucarpidase (gloo KAR pi dase)
Brand Name: Voraxaze

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Oct 8, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

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.

Important Information

If possible before you receive glucarpidase, tell your doctor if you are also being treated with leucovorin.

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.

Before taking this medicine

If possible before you receive glucarpidase, tell your doctor if you are also being treated with leucovorin.

In an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you received glucarpidase.

How is glucarpidase given?

Glucarpidase is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection. Glucarpidase is usually given as a single injection. The IV infusion will take about 5 minutes to complete.

You may also be given a medicine called leucovorin, either 2 hours before or 2 hours after you receive a glucarpidase injection.

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.

This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using glucarpidase.

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 signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • numbness, tingling, burning pain; or

  • flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).

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.

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 affect glucarpidase, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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