Erwinaze

Erwinaze treats a certain type of leukemia. Can cause an increase in blood sugar.

Erwinaze Overview

Reviewed: January 2, 2014
Updated: 

Erwinaze is prescription medication used to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). ALL is a type of cancer of the white blood cells. Erwinaze is an enzyme that interferes with natural substances necessary for cancer cell growth. It works by killing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

Erwinaze comes as a powder to be added to fluid and injected into a muscle (IM) or into the vein (IV) by a healthcare professional. It is usually given 3 times a week.

Common side effects include serious hypersensitivity reactions, nausea, and vomiting.

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Erwinaze Cautionary Labels

precautions

Uses of Erwinaze

Erwinaze is prescription medication used to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). ALL is a type of cancer of the white blood cells. It is used in those who have had some types of allergic reactions to medications similar to Erwinaze such as (asparaginase [Elspar] or pegaspargase [Oncaspar]).

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Erwinaze Drug Class

Erwinaze is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Erwinaze

Common side effects include the following:

  • serious hypersensitivity reactions, such as anaphylaxis
  • inflammation of the pancreas
  • liver dysfunction
  • blood clots
  • bleeding
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • elevated blood sugar levels

This is not a complete list of this medication’s side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

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

Erwinaze Interactions

No drug interactions have been studied. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Erwinaze Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Erwinaze. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • ongoing pain that begins in the stomach area, but may spread to the back
  • extreme thirst
  • frequent urination
  • extreme hunger
  • weakness
  • blurred vision
  • headache
  • arm or leg swelling
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • unusual bleeding
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • dark colored urine
  • loss of appetite
  • lack of energy
  • seizure

Do not take this medication if you have:

  • a history of serious hypersensitivity reactions to Erwinaze, including anaphylaxis
  • a history of serious pancreatitis with prior L-asparaginase therapy
  • a history of serious thrombosis with prior L-asparaginase therapy
  • a history of serious hemorrhagic events with prior L-asparaginase therapy

     

 

Erwinaze Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of this medication, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet.

Inform MD

Before taking Erwinaze,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Erwinaze, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Erwinaze powder.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas), blood clots, or severe bleeding, especially if these happened during treatment with asparaginase (Elspar) or pegaspargase (Oncaspar). Your doctor probably will not want you to receive Erwinaze.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while receiving Erwinaze, call your doctor.

Erwinaze and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category C. There are no well-done studies of Erwinaze in pregnant women. Animal studies have not been done with Erwinaze. It is not known whether Erwinaze, can cause fetal (unborn baby) harm when taken if pregnant. Erwinaze should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Erwinaze and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if this medication crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using this medication.

Erwinaze Usage

Erwinaze comes as a powder to be added to fluid and injected into a muscle (IM) or into the vein (IV) by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. It is usually given 3 times a week.

Erwinaze Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

When switching from pegaspargase (Oncaspar), the recommended dose is 25,000 International Units/m2. It is injected into the muscle (IM) or into the vein (IV) 3 times a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) for six doses for each planned dose of pegaspargase.

When switching from E. coli asparaginase (Elspar), the recommended dose is 25,000 International Units/m2. It is injected into the muscle (IM) or into the vein (IV) for each scheduled dose of E. coli asparaginase.

 

Erwinaze Overdose

Because this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
 

Other Requirements

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to Erwinaze.