Asparlas : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?

Asparlas (Calaspargase pegol-mknl) is used with other chemotherapy drugs to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL; a type of cancer of the white blood cells) in infants, children, and young adults 1 month to 21 years of age. Asparlas is an enzyme that interferes with natural substances necessary for the growth of cancer cells. It works by killing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How should this medicine be used?

Asparlas (Calaspargase pegol-mknl) comes as a solution (liquid) that a doctor or nurse must inject intravenously (into a vein) over 1 hour in a doctor’s office or hospital. It is usually given once every 3 weeks for as long as your doctor recommends treatment.

Your doctor may need to slow down your infusion, delay or stop your treatment with Asparlas injection, or treat you with other medications if you experience certain side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor how you feel during your treatment with Asparlas.

Asparlas can cause serious or life-threatening allergic reactions that are more likely to occur during the infusion or within 1 hour after the infusion. A doctor or nurse will monitor you during the infusion and for an hour after the infusion is finished to see if you have a severe reaction to the medicine. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips or eyes; hives redness; itching; eruption; or trouble swallowing or breathing.

Other uses for this medicine

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

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What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving Asparlas injection,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Asparlas, pegaspargase (Oncaspar), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Asparlas injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas), blood clots, or heavy bleeding, especially if these happened during previous treatment with asparaginase (Elspar), asparaginase erwinia chrysanthemi (Erwinaze), or pegaspargase (Oncaspar). . Also tell your doctor if you have liver disease. Your doctor may not want you to receive Asparlas.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should have a pregnancy test before starting treatment. You should not become pregnant during your treatment with Asparlas injection. You must use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment with Asparlas injection and for 3 months after your final dose. Asparlas may decrease the effectiveness of some oral contraceptives (birth control pills). You will need to use another method of birth control while you are receiving this medicine. Talk to your doctor about other methods of birth control that will work for you. If you become pregnant while receiving Asparlas injection, call your doctor immediately. Asparlas may harm the fetus.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with Asparlas injection and for 3 months after your final dose.
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What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Asparlas injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • diarrhea

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor immediately:

  • unusual or severe bleeding or bruising
  • ongoing pain that begins in the stomach area, but may spread to the back
  • increased thirst, frequent or increased urination
  • yellowing of skin or eyes; abdominal pain; nausea; vomiting; extreme tiredness; light colored stools; dark urine
  • severe headache; red, swollen, painful arm or leg; chest pain; shortness of breath
  • irregular or fast heartbeat
  • fever, chills, cough, or other signs of infection
  • shortness of breath especially when exercising; extreme tiredness; swelling of legs, ankles, and feet; irregular or fast heartbeat

Asparlas may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What other information should I know?

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

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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Brand Names

  • Asparlas®

Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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