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General Information

Nelarabine is a type of chemotherapy medicine used to treat cancer known as a cytotoxic antimetabolite. This is used to treat people with:

  • T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL)
  • T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL)

T-ALL is a type of condition that is aggressive and progresses quickly. T-LBL is a rare type of fast-growing condition. It mainly affects people under 35. This begins when white blood cells become abnormal and grow in an uncontrolled way.

How does Nelarabine work?

Nelarabine works by lessening the inflammation of the cells involved in T-ALL and T-LBL. It is by inhibiting the production of the cell’s genetic material (DNA). DNA is needed for the growth and increase of cells. Nelarabine causes a deficiency of DNA in the cancer cells and causes the cells to grow in an unbalanced way. Through that, it results in the death of cells.

Why use Nelarabine?

Nelarabine is a prodrug of the cytotoxic deoxyguanosine analog. This is supplied as a clear, colorless, and sterile solution in glass single-dose vials. Each vial contains 250 mg of Nelarabine. It is slightly soluble in water. Nelarabine is a prescription approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005. This kills the abnormal cells that cause these diseases.

How to use Nelarabine?

The recommended dosage of Nelarabine is based on your medical condition, age, and response. To make sure you can receive your next cycle, your doctor will check your blood counts. This is to be taken exactly as it is prescribed. Tell your doctor if your condition gets worse or if it does not improve.

This medication is given by slow injection into a vein. Each treatment period is called a cycle. This is usually given on days 1, 3, and 5 of each treatment cycle in adults. In children, this is usually given daily for 5 days in a row during each treatment cycle.

What are the side effects of Nelarabine?

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Swelling in your hands or feet

Warnings and Precautions

  • Do not use this medication if you are allergic to it.
  • You should not receive any vaccinations or immunizations without the consent of your doctor.
  • This drug may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not use any machinery or do anything that needs your alertness.
  • While taking Nelarabine, limit alcoholic beverages.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using this medication.
  • If you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first.