Health Guide
Drug Guide

Omacetaxine (Subcutaneous route)

Pronunciation:

oh-ma-se-TAX-een

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Uses of This Medicine:

Omacetaxine injection is used to treat chronic or accelerated phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). It is used in patients who have already received medicines for CML that did not work well. Leukemia is a type of cancer where the body makes abnormal white blood cells.

Omacetaxine is an antineoplastic (cancer) medicine. It interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed by the body. Since the growth of normal cells may also be affected by omacetaxine, other side effects can occur. Before you begin treatment, talk to your doctor about the benefits of this medicine as well as the possible risks of using it.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of omacetaxine injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of omacetaxine injection in the elderly.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersDStudies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breast-feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, usually in the stomach (abdomen) or thigh.

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Call your doctor if you have any questions.

You may also be taught how to give this medicine at home. Read and follow the directions in the Instructions for Use sheet before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. Call your doctor if you have any questions.

To use at home:

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

To store syringes at home:

Do not throw the used syringes, needles, or other supplies in a household trash or recycle container. Put all of the used supplies in the biohazard container and return it to your doctor for disposal.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Omacetaxine can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

This medicine may make you feel tired. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor if you are diabetic and notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests.

Cancer medicines can cause stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about ways to control these side effects.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Black, tarry stools
bleeding gums
bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
blood in the urine or stools
bloody nose
chills
cough
fever
lower back or side pain
painful or difficult urination
pale skin
pinpoint red spots on the skin
rapid weight gain
shortness of breath
sore throat
tingling of the hands or feet
troubled breathing with exertion
ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusual weight gain or loss
Incidence not known
Arm, back, or jaw pain
blurred vision
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
chest pain or discomfort
confusion
convulsions
decreased urination
deep, dark purple bruises
difficulty with speaking
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
double vision
dry mouth
fainting
fast, shallow breathing
fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
flushed, dry skin
fruit-like breath odor
headache
hives, rash, or itching, pain, redness, or swelling of the skin
hoarseness
inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
inability to speak
increased hunger
increased thirst
increased urination
irritation
joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
loss of consciousness
muscle cramps
nausea
nervousness
pale, clammy skin
pounding in the ears
rapid breathing
slow speech
stomachache
sunken eyes
sweating
swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
thirst
troubled breathing or swallowing
unexplained weight loss
vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
wrinkled skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Abdominal or stomach pain
back pain
bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
diarrhea
difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
difficulty with moving
hair loss or thinning of the hair
lack or loss of strength
loss of appetite
muscle pain or stiffness
pain in the arms or legs
trouble sleeping
upper abdominal or stomach pain
weight loss
Incidence not known
Acid or sour stomach
anxiety
belching
bleeding gums
bloody eye
bone pain
burning, dry, or itching eyes
continuous ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
darkening of the skin
decreased appetite
depression
double vision
dry skin
ear pain
eye discharge or excessive tearing
eye pain
general feeling of discomfort or illness
hearing loss
heartburn
increased sweating
indigestion
itching skin
muscle spasm, stiffness, or weakness
redness and swelling of the gums
redness, pain, swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
stomach discomfort or upset
stuffy nose

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

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


Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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