Cytarabine is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating several types of leukemia including acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). Cytarabine may be prescribed as part of a chemotherapy regimen to treat leukemia. Cytarabine may also be referred to as Cytosine arabinoside or Ara-C.
Cytarabine is an anticancer drug used in chemotherapy. Cytarabine is a member of a class of drugs called antimetabolites. Cytarabine is believed to work by interfering with the DNA synthesis in replicating cells.
How do I take it?
Cytarabine is usually administered as an intravenous infusion during chemotherapy treatment. Cytarabine may also be injected subcutaneously (into the skin) or intrathecally (into the spinal canal).
The FDA-approved label for Cytarabine lists common side effects including fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, skin rash, liver problems, inflammation, bleeding, blood clots, and sores in the mouth or anus.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Cytarabine include respiratory distress, damage to the heart or eyes, and fetal harm in pregnant women.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Cytarabine – RxList
AML: Chemotherapy and Drug Therapy – Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
CMML: Chemotherapy and Drug Therapy – Leukemia & Lymphoma Society