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Asparaginase (Erwinia) (a SPEAR a ji nase er WIN i ah)

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Erwinaze

Brand Names: Canada

Erwinase

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat leukemia.

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.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes 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 that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

  • 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 think your child’s health problem is worse.

What are some other 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.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
  • It is given as a shot into a muscle.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • 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 before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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