arsenic trioxide (cont.)
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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking arsenic trioxide (Trisenox)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to arsenic trioxide.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:
FDA pregnancy category D. Arsenic trioxide can cause harm to an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Before you receive this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
Arsenic trioxide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is arsenic trioxide given (Trisenox)?
Arsenic trioxide is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be shown how to use your medicine at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used in giving the medicine.
Arsenic trioxide must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take up to 4 hours to complete.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Arsenic trioxide must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication.
After mixing arsenic trioxide with a diluent, you may store the mixture in the refrigerator and use it within 48 hours. Do not freeze.
Mixed medicine must be used within 24 hours if kept at room temperature.
Each single-use ampule (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away the vial after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.
Store unopened glass ampules of arsenic trioxide at room temperature. Throw away any unused ampules after the expiration date on the label has passed.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with arsenic trioxide. Your heart function will also need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). This machine measures electrical activity of the heart.
You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are using arsenic trioxide. Do not miss any follow-up appointments.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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