Rasburicase (Generic Name)
Other Names: Elitek
About this drug
This drug is used to prevent and treat high uric acid levels associated with cancer and cancer treatment. It is given intravenously (IV).
Possible side effects
Serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis may occur during the time you are receiving this drug by IV. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty catching your breath
- Chest pain
- Feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling
- Feeling your heart beat rapidly (palpitations)
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Rash and/or itching
Other side effects may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in bowel movements; Some patients experience diarrhea, while other patients experience constipation.
- Effects on red blood cells; Your doctor will monitor your red blood cells as needed.
- Effects on an unborn child; This drug may have harmful effects on an unborn child. For this reason, be sure to use effective methods of birth control during your treatment and for 2 weeks after stopping this drug. If you are exposed to this drug while pregnant, ask to speak to a genetic counselor. A genetic counselor can review the potential risks of problems with the fetus and with future pregnancies.
- Breastfeeding; Women are advised not to breastfeed during treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and seriously harm a breastfeeding infant.
Treating side effects
- Ask your doctor or nurse about medication that is available to help prevent or lessen nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, and rash.
- Do not put anything on a rash unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry.
- If you are constipated, ask your doctor or nurse for medications and diet suggestions that may help you move your bowels regularly. Do not use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories without checking with your doctor or nurse.
- Discuss effective methods of birth control with your doctor.
Food and drug interactions
There are no known interactions of rasburicase with food. This drug may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor’s advice.
When to call the doctor
Notify your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while you are at home:
- Temperature of 100.5 F (38.0 C) or above
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Severe headache unrelieved by prescribed medications
- Uncontrolled nausea that prevents you from eating or drinking
- Vomiting more than 3 times in 1 day
- Diarrhea of 5 or 6 stools in 1 day, or diarrhea with weakness
Notify your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Bothersome rash that is unrelieved by prescribed medication
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that is unrelieved by prescribed medications
- No bowel movement for 3 days, or if you feel uncomfortable