Glucarpidase

treats toxic methotrexate levels in patients with kidney disease. It prevents harmful effects of methotrexate by helping to break down and remove methotrexate from the body.

Glucarpidase Overview

Updated: 

Glucarpidase is a prescription medicatious used to prevent harmful effects of methotrexate in patients with kidney disease. Glucarpidase belongs to a group of drugs called enzymes. It works by helping to break down and remove methotrexate from the body.

Glucarpidase comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected intravenously (into a vein).

Common side effects include flushing, nausea, vomiting, and headache.

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Uses of Glucarpidase

Glucarpidase is a prescription medication used to prevent harmful effects of methotrexate in patients with kidney disease.

Glucarpidase Brand Names

Glucarpidase may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Glucarpidase Drug Class

Glucarpidase is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Glucarpidase

Common side effects of glucarpidase include the following:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • chills
  • flushing or feeling hot
  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • throat tightness or difficulty breathing
  • feelings of numbness, tingling, pricking, burning, or creeping on the skin
  • headache

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.

Glucarpidase Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • folic acid (Folicet, in multivitamins)
  • levoleucovorin (Fusilev)
  • pemetrexed (Alimta)

This is not a complete list of all drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Glucarpidase Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with glucarpidase including the following:

  • hypersensitivity (severe allergic reaction). Tell your healthcare provider about any signs or symptoms of hypersensitivity, which include the following:
    • chest pain
    • swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs
    • difficulty breathing or swallowing
    • rash

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to glucarpidase or to any of its ingredients.
 

Glucarpidase 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 glucarpidase,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to glucarpidase, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in glucarpidase injection.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
  • if you are receiving leucovorin, it should be given at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after glucarpidase.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking glucarpidase, call your doctor.

Glucarpidase 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. No studies have been done in animals, and no well-controlled studies have been done in pregnant women. Glucarpidase should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Glucarpidase and Lactation

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

It is not known if glucarpidase 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.

Glucarpidase Usage

Glucarpidase comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected intravenously (into a vein). It is usually given over 5 minutes as a one-time dose. Glucarpidase is given along with leucovorin (another medication used to prevent harmful effects of methotrexate) until laboratory tests show treatment is no longer needed.

Glucarpidase 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

The recommended dose is a single intravenous (into the vein) injection of 50 Units per kilograms of body weight.

Glucarpidase Overdose

Since 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 glucarpidase.