Health Information and Tools > Medications >  Pegaspargase - Injection
Facebook Tweet Share

Main Content

Pegaspargase - Injection

Pronunciation: peg-ASP-are-gace

Common Brand Name(s): Oncaspar

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Uses

This medication is usually used to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), especially in patients who are allergic to L-asparaginase. It works by starving tumor cells of a certain amino acid (asparagine), causing the tumor cells to die.

How To Use

This medication is given by injection into a vein or a muscle by a health care professional. The dosage is based on your body size and response to treatment.

To help prevent side effects (infusion and allergic reactions), your doctor may direct you to use other medications before you receive this medication. Use these additional medications exactly as directed by your doctor.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, or pain/swelling/redness at injection site may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • severe stomach/abdominal pain
  • signs of an infection (such as fever)
  • increased thirst/urination
  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • dark urine
  • yellowing eyes/skin
  • pain/redness/swelling/numbness/tingling of the arms or legs

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:

  • sudden shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • severe headache
  • seizures
  • trouble speaking
  • confusion
  • vision changes
  • weakness on one side of the body

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using pegaspargase, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to L-asparaginase; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • history of a serious reaction to L-asparaginase (such as bleeding, blood clots, pancreatitis)
  • diabetes
  • clotting/bleeding disorders
  • liver disease
  • pancreatitis

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.

Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.

To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.

This drug may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using pegaspargase. Pegaspargase may harm an unborn baby. Your doctor should order a pregnancy test before you start this medication. Ask about reliable forms of non-hormonal birth control (such as condoms, diaphragm with spermicide) while using this medication and for 3 months after the last dose. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug and for at least 1 month after stopping treatment. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Lab and/or medical tests (such as prothrombin time, complete blood counts, liver function tests, amylase levels, blood sugar) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

It is important to get each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist right away for a new dosing schedule.

If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Storage

Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

‚Äč