This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
- Severe abnormal heartbeats (long QT on ECG, torsades de pointes), the heart stopping, and sudden death have happened with this drug. Have blood work and ECG checked before starting this drug and while taking it as you have been told. Tell your doctor right away if you have an abnormal heartbeat, dizziness, or if you pass out.
- Tell your doctor before starting this drug if you have low potassium or magnesium blood levels, or if you already have an abnormal heartbeat like long QT on ECG. These may raise the risk of a severe abnormal heartbeat. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions.
- Taking this drug along with certain other drugs may raise the risk of a severe abnormal heartbeat. There are many drugs that can do this. Be sure your doctor and other health care providers know about all the drugs you are taking.
- It is used to treat leukemia.
- If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you will be having a stem cell transplant.
- If you have any of these health problems: Angina; fast, slow, or abnormal heartbeat; heart failure; heart valve problems; other heart disease; recent heart attack; high blood pressure; or thyroid problems.
- If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with this drug, like certain drugs that are used for HIV, infections, or seizures. There are many drugs that must not be taken with this drug.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug or for 1 month after your last dose.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Diarrhea and throwing up are common with this drug. Tell your doctor if you have these side effects. Your blood work and ECG may need to be checked more often.
- You may have more of a chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu. Some infections have been very bad and even deadly.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- This drug has caused fertility problems in animals. Fertility problems may affect being able to get pregnant or father a child.
- This drug may cause harm to an unborn baby. A pregnancy test will be done before you start this drug to show that you are NOT pregnant.
- If you or your sex partner may become pregnant, you must use birth control while taking this drug and for some time after the last dose. Ask your doctor how long to use birth control. If you or your sex partner gets pregnant, call your doctor right away.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of herpes infections like cold sores, shingles, genital sores, severe headache, confusion, change in eyesight, eye redness, or eye pain.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up or coughing up blood; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; abnormal vaginal bleeding; bruises without a cause or that get bigger; or bleeding you cannot stop.
- Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes; confusion; muscle pain, cramps, or spasms; weakness; shakiness; change in balance; an abnormal heartbeat; seizures; loss of appetite; or severe upset stomach or throwing up.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Abnormal heartbeat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Eye irritation.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, throwing up, or decreased appetite.
- Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Signs of a common cold.
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.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- Take this drug at the same time of day.
- If you throw up after taking a dose, do not repeat the dose. Take your next dose at your normal time.
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it on the same day you missed the dose.
- If you do not think about the missed dose until the next day, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses on the same day.
- Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- This drug comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this drug is refilled. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with the 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.
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