Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Descriptions


Cytarabine belongs to the group of medicines called antimetabolites. It is used to treat some kinds of cancers of the blood. It may also be used to treat other kinds of cancer, as determined by your doctor.

Cytarabine interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by cytarabine, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects, like hair loss, may not be serious but may cause concern. Some effects may not occur for months or years after the medicine is used.

Before you begin treatment with cytarabine, you and your doctor should talk about the good this medicine will do as well as the risks of using it.

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

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, cytarabine is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:

  • Cancer of the lymph system
  • Cancer of the brain and spinal cord
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)