Health Information and Tools > Medications >  Romidepsin - Injection

Main Content

Romidepsin - Injection

Pronunciation: ROE-mi-DEP-sin

Common Brand Name(s): Istodax

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

Romidepsin is used to treat a certain type of cancer (cutaneous T-cell lymphoma). Romidepsin works by stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How To Use

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before your first romidepsin treatment and each time you get another dose. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. It is given as directed by your doctor, usually over 4 hours on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day treatment cycle. This cycle is then repeated as directed by your doctor.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.

You should receive this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark your calendar to keep track of when to receive the next dose.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, tiredness, and loss of appetite may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, you have been prescribed this drug because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.

This medication decreases bone marrow function, an effect that may lead to a low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. This effect can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, or cause easy bruising/bleeding. It may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • unusual tiredness
  • pale skin
  • signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills, cough)
  • easy bruising/bleeding

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

  • chest pain
  • fast/irregular heartbeat
  • severe dizziness
  • fainting

Romidepsin sometimes causes side effects due to the rapid destruction of cancer cells (tumor lysis syndrome). To lower your risk, your doctor may add a medication and tell you to drink plenty of fluids. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as:

  • low back/side pain (flank pain)
  • signs of kidney problems (such as painful urination, pink/bloody urine, change in the amount of urine)
  • muscle spasms/weakness

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 receiving this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; 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:

  • liver disease (such as hepatitis B)
  • heart disease (such as chest pain, heart attack)
  • current/recent infection

Romidepsin may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.

The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using romidepsin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:

  • certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG)
  • family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death)

Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using romidepsin safely.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Romidepsin can make you more likely to get infections or may make current infections worse. Stay away from anyone who has an infection that may easily spread (such as chickenpox, COVID-19, measles, flu). Talk to your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.

Tell your health care professional that you are using romidepsin before having any immunizations/vaccinations. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).

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

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using romidepsin. Romidepsin may harm an unborn baby. Your doctor should order a pregnancy test within 7 days before you start this medication. Men and women using this medication should ask about reliable forms of birth control during treatment and for 1 month after the last dose. If you or your partner becomes pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication. See also Drug Interactions section.

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 medication and for 1 week after the last dose. 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.

Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • disulfiram
  • "blood thinners" (such as warfarin)

Other medications can affect the removal of romidepsin from your body, thereby affecting how romidepsin works. These drugs include azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole), dexamethasone, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin), nefazodone, rifamycins (such as rifabutin, rifampin), St. John's wort, and some drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine), among others.

This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication and for 1 month after stopping treatment. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.

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 complete blood count, potassium/magnesium blood levels, EKG, liver function) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments.

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 hospital or 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