Asparaginase ( Erwinia )

(a SPEAR a ji nase er WIN i ah)

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Erwinaze

Brand Names: Canada

  • Erwinase®

Is it safe for my child to take this drug?

  • Not if your child has an allergy to asparaginase or any other part of this drug.
  • Be sure to let the doctor know if your child has any allergies or side effects to drugs, foods, or dyes. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs your child had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • Not if this drug caused bleeding, a blood clot, or an irritated pancreas before.

Why does my child need this drug?

  • It is used to treat leukemia.

How is this drug given?

  • It is given as a shot into a muscle.

What safety measures do I need to take when my child is using this drug?

  • If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with the doctor.
  • If your child has pancreatitis, talk with the doctor.
  • Have your child's blood work checked. Talk with your child's doctor.
  • Check all drugs your child is taking with your child's doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your child's drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child's doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor about giving you an EpiPen® to treat a bad allergic reaction after you have left the health center.
  • Talk with the doctor before your child gets any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of very bad infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • Your child may bleed or clot more easily. Have him/her be more careful and avoid injury. Keep your child from rough-housing or playing contact sports.
  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that your child is using this drug.

What are some side effects of this drug?

  • Bleeding problems.
  • Clotting problems.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals and good mouth care may help. Older children may suck hard, sugar-free candy.
  • High blood sugar. This most often goes back to normal when drug is stopped.
  • Irritated pancreas.
  • Unsafe allergic effects may rarely happen.

When do I need to call my child's doctor?

  • If any of this news causes you to be worried or if any of the unwanted side effects happen after your child is given this drug.
  • If your child shows signs of a very bad reaction, call your child's doctor or the ER right away. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or if your child is not acting normal.
  • If your child shows any signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color or sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
  • If your child has trouble breathing.
  • If your child has swelling or pain in his/her leg or arm.
  • If your child has a very bad headache.
  • If your child has a very bad upset stomach or is throwing up.
  • If your child has very bad belly pain.
  • If your child has any bruising or bleeding.
  • If your child is feeling very tired or weak.
  • If your child has more trips to the bathroom, more thirst, or weight loss.
  • If your child gets a rash.
  • If your child’s health problem does not get better or if you believe your child’s health problem is worse.

General drug facts

  • If your child has a very bad allergy, he/she needs to wear an allergy ID at all times.
  • You may get this drug by drug order only.
  • Get rid of this drug when your child no longer needs it or if the drug is outdated.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
  • Do not share your child's drug with others and do not give anyone else's drug to your child.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your child's drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child's doctor.
  • These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
  • Talk with the doctor before giving your child any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • If you do not use a drug the right way, it may not be safe. Follow what your child’s doctor tells you.