Arsenic trioxide

Description

Arsenic trioxide is an anticancer agent, used in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) which is a subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (cancer of white blood cells). It should only be used under the supervision of a qualified physician. Close monitoring of cardiac function and blood cell count are necessary while receiving this medication.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Arsenic trioxide

  • Infections
  • Decrease in blood cell count
  • Decreased urine output
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • Fever and chills
  • Injection site reactions

Uses of Arsenic trioxide

What is it prescribed for?

  • Acute promyelocytic leukemia
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The amount of time required for this medicine to show its action is not clinically established.
  • Duration of effect
    The amount of time for which this medicine remains active in the body is not clinically established.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue the drug or to discontinue breastfeeding based on your clinical condition

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to Arsenic or any other inactive ingredients present along with it.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue the drug or to discontinue breastfeeding based on your clinical condition
General warnings

Differentiation Syndrome

Use of this medicine may cause Differentiation Syndrome, a life-threatening or fatal condition characterized by unexplained fever, dyspnea, hypoxia, pulmonary infiltrates, pleural or pericardial effusion, weight gain, peripheral edema, hypotension, renal insufficiency, hepatopathy, and multi-organ dysfunction. Interrupt the treatment at the onset of symptoms and initiate appropriate management therapy. Close clinical monitoring is recommended.

Cardiac abnormalities

Use of this medicine may cause cardiac rhythm abnormalities which can be serious and life-threatening. This happens due to alterations in potassium and magnesium levels. Adequate dose adjustment, frequent cardiac monitoring, and replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Liver Disease

Use of this medicine may increase the risk of liver damage. Close monitoring of hepatic function is recommended for patients on treatment with this medicine. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor immediately. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Secondary Malignancies

Use of this medicine is known to increase the risk of secondary cancers including acute leukemia, myeloproliferative syndrome and other carcinomas. Close monitoring of signs and symptoms is necessary. The treatment should be discontinued if malignancy develops.

Use in Children

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients below 4 years of age since the safety and efficacy of use are not clinically established.

Embryo-Fetal toxicity

Use of this medicine may increase the risk of harm to the unborn baby in pregnant women. Effective contraception is advised for the women with the childbearing potential to avoid such risks. Birth controls should be administered while receiving this medicine and for 6 months post-therapy to prevent the pregnancy.

Missed Dose

Since this medicine is usually administered by a qualified healthcare professional in the clinical/hospital setting, the likelihood of a missed dose is very low.

Overdose

Since this medicine is administered in the hospital setting by a qualified healthcare professional, the likelihood of an overdose is very low. However, emergency medical treatment will be initiated by the doctor if an overdose is suspected.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Quetiapine

Tramadol

Vasopressin

Efavirenz

Cisplatin

Moxifloxacin

Disease interactions

Disease

Information not available.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
This medicine is usually administered in the clinical/hospital setting under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. Follow all the instructions given by your doctor. Inform the doctor if you have a known allergy to this medicine. Report all your current medicines as well as your medical conditions to the doctor before receiving this medicine.
Miscelleneous

Usage does not depend on food timings

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
It works by stopping the growth of cancer cells by causing DNA damage.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Unknown

Approved

Classification

Category

Miscellaneous antineoplastics

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 26 December 2018]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=c99b01b4-67ff-4793-8375-fe3a21c6c9be

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 26 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/5377#

Arsenic trioxide - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2018 [cited 26 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01169

[Internet]. Ebs.tga.gov.au. 2018 [cited 26 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2010-PI-03542-3

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Information on this page was last updated on 29 Jan 2019

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.