Posted on April 28th, 2009 by
Generic Name: cytarabine liposome injection (sigh-TARE-a-been lip-oh-ZOE-mel)
Trade Name: Depocyt®
For which conditions is this drug approved? Depocyt is indicated for the intrathecal treatment of lymphomatous meningitis, which is lymphoma that is present in the meninges (lining of the brain and spinal cord). Depocyt has been formulated to produce a sustained release of the chemotherapy agent cytarabine.
What is the mechanism of action? Depocyt belongs to a group of drugs called antimetabolites. Depocyt produces its anti-cancer effects by inhibiting the ability of a cell to produce DNA or repair DNA. By inhibiting the production and repair of DNA, Depocyt suppresses the ability of a cell to replicate or repair itself, ultimately causing cellular death.
How is Depocyt typically given (administered)? Depocyt may be delivered into the spinal fluid through intrathecal or intraventricular administration. Intrathecal administration is the direct placement of the drug into the spinal fluid through a spinal tap procedure. Intraventricular administration involves the placement of a small “reservoir”, called an ommaya reservoir, directly under the skin in the scalp. There is a catheter that runs from the ommaya reservoir to the outer part of the brain. Depocyt is placed into the ommaya reservoir, where the agent travels through the catheter to the outer part of the brain. Patients typically receive steroids prior to and following Depocyt to reduce inflammation of the meninges that can be caused by treatment. The route, dose and scheduling in which Depocyt is administered is dependent upon many factors, including the condition being treated, the particular treatment regimen being utilized, overall health, and the patient’s tolerance of therapy.
How are patients typically monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with Depocyt. Typically, blood will be drawn to check levels of blood cells and to monitor functions of some organ systems, as well as electrolyte and metabolic product levels. Physical examinations, scans, or other measures may also be utilized to assess side effects and response to therapy. Patients will be monitored for inflammation of the meninges, including pain or rigidity of the neck, nausea and vomiting, fever, headache and back pain. If patients experience these symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider.
What are the common (occur in 30% or more of patients) side effects of treatment with Depocyt?
What are the less common (occur in 10% to 29% of patients) side effects of treatment with Depocyt?
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
When should patients notify their physician?
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
Last updated on 09/16.
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