Generic Name: arsenic trioxide (AR sen ik trye OX ide)Brand Names: Trisenox
Arsenic trioxide is a cancer medication. Arsenic trioxide interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.
Arsenic trioxide is used to treat a cancer of the blood and bone marrow called acute promyelocytic (pro-MYE-loe-SIT-ik) leukemia, or APL.
Arsenic trioxide may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before receiving arsenic trioxide, tell your doctor if you have congestive heart failure, a heart rhythm disorder, an electrolyte imbalance, high blood pressure, a history of "Long QT syndrome," liver disease, or kidney disease.
There are many other drugs that can interact with arsenic trioxide. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are using arsenic trioxide. Do not miss any follow-up appointments.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking arsenic trioxide?You should not use this medication if you are allergic to arsenic trioxide.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:
congestive heart failure;
a heart rhythm disorder or history of "Long QT syndrome";
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);
high blood pressure;
Arsenic trioxide is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be shown how to use your medicine at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used in giving the medicine.
Arsenic trioxide must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take up to 4 hours to complete.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Arsenic trioxide must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication.After mixing arsenic trioxide with a diluent, you may store the mixture in the refrigerator and use it within 48 hours. Do not freeze. Mixed medicine must be used within 24 hours if kept at room temperature.
Each single-use ampule (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away the vial after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.Store unopened glass ampules of arsenic trioxide at room temperature. Throw away any unused ampules after the expiration date on the label has passed.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with arsenic trioxide. Your heart function will also need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). This machine measures electrical activity of the heart.You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are using arsenic trioxide. Do not miss any follow-up appointments.
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of arsenic trioxide.
Overdose symptoms may include confusion, muscle weakness, or seizure (convulsions).
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using arsenic trioxide.
sharp chest pain, wheezing, rapid breathing, feeling short of breath;
dry cough, feeling weak, tired, or ill;
fever, chills, swelling in your ankles or feet, weight gain;
dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;
pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds);
high blood sugar (increased thirst, loss of appetite, fruity breath odor, increased urination, drowsiness, dry skin); or
low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling).
Less serious side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation;
anxiety, depressed mood;
mild rash or itching;
sleep problems (insomnia);
numbness or tingly feeling;
joint or muscle pain;
abnormal vaginal bleeding; or
pain, redness or swelling where the medicine was injected.
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.
Usual Adult Dose for Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia:
Induction Treatment Schedule: 0.15 mg/kg intravenously daily until bone marrow remission. Total induction dose should not exceed 60 doses. Arsenic trioxide should be administered intravenously over 1-2 hours. The infusion duration may be extended up to 4 hours if acute vasomotor reactions are observed. (A central venous catheter is not required.)Consolidation Treatment Schedule: Consolidation treatment should begin 3 to 6 weeks after completion of induction therapy. Arsenic trioxide should be administered intravenously at a dose of 0.15 mg/kg daily for 25 doses over a period up to 5 weeks.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
a diuretic (water pill);
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), or pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam);
an antidepressant such as amitriptylline (Elavil, Vanatrip), clomipramine (Anafranil), or desipramine (Norpramin);
anti-malaria medications such as chloroquine (Arelan) or mefloquine (Lariam);
heart rhythm medicine such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), ibutilide (Corvert), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine (Quinidex, Quin-Release Quin-G), or sotalol (Betapace);
medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting, such as dolasetron (Anzemet) or ondansetron (Zofran);
medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clozapine (FazaClo, Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or ziprasidone (Geodon);
migraine headache medicine such as sumatriptan (Imitrex) or zolmitriptan (Zomig); or
narcotic medication such as levomethadyl (Orlaam), or methadone (Dolophine, Methadose).
This list is not complete and there are many other drugs that can interact with arsenic trioxide. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.