Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Trisenox

Descriptions


Arsenic trioxide injection belongs to the general group of medicines called antineoplastics. It is used to treat a type of leukemia (cancer of the blood cells) called acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) in patients who have not responded to other medication regimens. It may also be used to treat other kinds of cancer, as determined by your doctor.

Arsenic trioxide interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by arsenic trioxide, other unwanted effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor.

Before you begin treatment with arsenic trioxide, you and your doctor should talk about the benefit of this medicine as well as the risks of using it.

This medicine is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Solution

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of arsenic trioxide in children. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 4 years of age.

Geriatric

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of arsenic trioxide in geriatric patients.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Amifampridine
  • Bepridil
  • Cisapride
  • Dronedarone
  • Foscarnet
  • Lidoflazine
  • Mesoridazine
  • Pimozide
  • Piperaquine
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Terfenadine
  • Thioridazine
  • Ziprasidone

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acecainide
  • Acetazolamide
  • Ajmaline
  • Alfuzosin
  • Amiloride
  • Amiodarone
  • Amisulpride
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Amphotericin B
  • Apomorphine
  • Aprindine
  • Artemether
  • Asenapine
  • Astemizole
  • Azimilide
  • Azithromycin
  • Azosemide
  • Bedaquiline
  • Bemetizide
  • Bendroflumethiazide
  • Benzthiazide
  • Bretylium
  • Bumetanide
  • Buthiazide
  • Canrenoate
  • Canrenone
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Chloroquine
  • Chlorothiazide
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Chlorthalidone
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Citalopram
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clomipramine
  • Clopamide
  • Clozapine
  • Crizotinib
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Cyclothiazide
  • Dasatinib
  • Desipramine
  • Dibenzepin
  • Disopyramide
  • Dofetilide
  • Dolasetron
  • Domperidone
  • Doxepin
  • Droperidol
  • Encainide
  • Enflurane
  • Eplerenone
  • Erythromycin
  • Ethacrynic Acid
  • Etozolin
  • Fenquizone
  • Fingolimod
  • Flecainide
  • Fluconazole
  • Fluoxetine
  • Formoterol
  • Furosemide
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Glycerin
  • Granisetron
  • Halofantrine
  • Haloperidol
  • Halothane
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Hydroflumethiazide
  • Hydroquinidine
  • Ibutilide
  • Iloperidone
  • Imipramine
  • Indapamide
  • Isoflurane
  • Isradipine
  • Ivabradine
  • Lapatinib
  • Levofloxacin
  • Levomethadyl
  • Lopinavir
  • Lorcainide
  • Lumefantrine
  • Mannitol
  • Mefloquine
  • Methadone
  • Methyclothiazide
  • Metolazone
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Nilotinib
  • Norfloxacin
  • Nortriptyline
  • Octreotide
  • Ofloxacin
  • Ondansetron
  • Paliperidone
  • Pasireotide
  • Pazopanib
  • Pentamidine
  • Perflutren Lipid Microsphere
  • Pimozide
  • Piretanide
  • Pirmenol
  • Polythiazide
  • Posaconazole
  • Prajmaline
  • Probucol
  • Procainamide
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Promethazine
  • Propafenone
  • Protriptyline
  • Quetiapine
  • Quinethazone
  • Quinidine
  • Quinine
  • Ranolazine
  • Risperidone
  • Salmeterol
  • Saquinavir
  • Sematilide
  • Sertindole
  • Sodium Phosphate
  • Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
  • Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
  • Solifenacin
  • Sorafenib
  • Sotalol
  • Spiramycin
  • Spironolactone
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Sultopride
  • Sunitinib
  • Tedisamil
  • Telavancin
  • Telithromycin
  • Tetrabenazine
  • Ticrynafen
  • Tizanidine
  • Toremifene
  • Torsemide
  • Trazodone
  • Triamterene
  • Trichlormethiazide
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Trimethoprim
  • Trimipramine
  • Urea
  • Vandetanib
  • Vardenafil
  • Vasopressin
  • Vemurafenib
  • Vilanterol
  • Vinflunine
  • Voriconazole
  • Xipamide
  • Ziprasidone
  • Zotepine

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., prolonged QT interval or torsade de pointes), history of or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood)—These medical problems may increase the risk of experiencing a life threatening heart rhythm problem while taking arsenic trioxide.
  • Kidney disease, severe or
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital or cancer clinic. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

Arsenic trioxide often causes nausea and vomiting. However, it is very important that you continue to receive the medicine, even if you have an upset stomach. Ask your doctor for ways to lessen these effects.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

You should not receive this medicine if you are pregnant. 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.

Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain or discomfort, chills, cough, difficulty with breathing, eye pain, fever, general feeling of illness, headache, shortness of breath, sore throat, unusual tiredness or weakness, or weight gain while using this medicine. These may be symptoms of a serious condition called retinoic-acid-APL (RA-APL) or APL differentiation syndrome.

This medication can cause serious heart rhythm problems and heart arrhythmias. Your doctor will monitor you during therapy to assess for heart rhythm problems. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Chills
  2. convulsions (seizures)
  3. cough
  4. decreased urine output
  5. dry mouth
  6. eye pain
  7. general feeling of illness
  8. headache
  9. increased thirst
  10. irregular heartbeat
  11. loss of appetite
  12. mood changes
  13. muscle pain or cramps
  14. nausea or vomiting
  15. numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips
  16. shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  17. sore throat
  18. unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common

  1. Abdominal or stomach cramps
  2. black, tarry stools
  3. bluish lips or skin
  4. blurred vision
  5. chest pain
  6. dizziness or lightheadedness
  7. fever
  8. flushed, dry skin
  9. fruit-like breath odor
  10. high or low blood pressure
  11. increased hunger
  12. increased urine output
  13. irregular or pounding heartbeat or pulse
  14. painful or difficult urination
  15. sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth
  16. stomachache
  17. sweating
  18. swollen glands
  19. unexplained weight loss
  20. unusual bleeding or bruising
  21. unusual weight gain
  22. wheezing

Rare

  1. Anxiety
  2. behavior changes similar to drunkenness
  3. bleeding
  4. blood in urine or stools
  5. bluish fingernails, palms, or nailbeds
  6. bruising
  7. cloudy urine
  8. cold sweats
  9. cool pale skin
  10. drowsiness
  11. headache
  12. large hives
  13. persistent bleeding or oozing from puncture sites, mouth, or nose
  14. rash
  15. severe nausea
  16. shakiness
  17. sore mouth or tongue
  18. swelling of eyelids, lips, or face
  19. vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  20. white patches in mouth and/or on tongue

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of Overdose

  1. Confusion
  2. convulsions (seizures)
  3. muscle weakness, severe

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Diarrhea

Less common

  1. Acid or sour stomach
  2. back pain
  3. belching
  4. bloating or swelling of face, hands, lower legs, or feet
  5. bone pain
  6. constipation
  7. flushing
  8. heartburn
  9. heavy nonmenstrual vaginal bleeding
  10. indigestion
  11. injection site pain, redness, or swelling
  12. itching
  13. itchy, red skin
  14. joint or muscle pain
  15. limb pain
  16. loss of appetite
  17. mental depression
  18. neck pain
  19. nosebleeds
  20. pale skin
  21. shivering chills
  22. trouble sleeping or getting to sleep
  23. weight gain

Rare

  1. Agitation
  2. blisters inside the mouth
  3. coughing or spitting up blood
  4. earache
  5. eye dryness, redness, or pain
  6. loss of bowel or bladder control
  7. night sweats
  8. rapid, shallow breathing
  9. ringing in the ears
  10. small red or purple spots on skin
  11. swelling of abdominal or stomach area
  12. swelling or puffiness of face or eyelids
  13. swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in neck, armpit, or groin

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.