Arsenic Trioxide (Injection)
Arsenic Trioxide (AR-se-nik trye-OX-ide)
Treats a type of leukemia (cancer of the blood cells) called acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to arsenic, or if you are pregnant.
How to Use This Medicine:
- Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
- You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. It may also be given by a home health caregiver.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
- The medicine is usually given slowly, so the needle will remain in place for 1 to 2 hours. In some cases, it may take up to 4 hours for each dose of this medicine to be given.
- Never share your medicine with anyone.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:
- If you store this medicine at home, keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Once the medicine has been mixed in a syringe or IV bag, it should be used within 48 hours.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using diuretics (water pills), amphotericin B (Fungizonereg;, Ambisomereg;), Mellarilreg;, or medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as verapamil, Sectralreg;, Rythmolreg;, Cardioquinreg;).
Warnings While Using This Medicine:
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, heart disease, or a history of heart rhythm problems.
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
- Fast, pounding heartbeat
- Irregular pulse
- Seizures, muscle weakness, and confusion
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Muscle, joint, or bone pain
- Nausea, vomiting
- Skin dryness or itching
- Stomach pain
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD
Drugs & Medications
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.
The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.