ARSENIC TRIOXIDE (AR se nik trye OX ide) is a chemotherapy drug. It slows the growth of cancer cells. This medicine is used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).
This drug is given as an infusion into a vein. It is administered in a hospital or clinic by a specially trained health care professional.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 4 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
changes in vision
loss of balance or coordination
loss of consciousness
signs and symptoms of a dangerous change in heartbeat or heart rhythm like chest pain; dizziness; fast or irregular heartbeat; palpitations; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; breathing problems
sudden weight gain
swelling of the ankles, feet, hands
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
pain, redness, or irritation at site where injected
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
Other medicines that may cause electrolyte abnormalities (e.g., amphotericin)
Other medicines that may cause liver damage
Other medicines that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm)
It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.
This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
history of irregular heartbeat
low levels of potassium, calcium, or magnesium in the blood
an unusual or allergic reaction to arsenic, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
Talk to your doctor about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancers if you take this medicine.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or for 6 months after stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. Men should not father a child while taking this medicine and for 3 months after stopping it. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine and for 2 weeks after stopping it.
This may interfere with the ability to father a child. You should talk to your doctor or health care professional if you are concerned about your fertility.