Rasburicase is a medicine that is sometimes given at the start of chemotherapy for leukaemia or lymphomas.
When chemotherapy starts to kill the leukaemia or lymphoma cells, products are released from inside these cells that can crystallise and cause damage to the kidneys. Rasburicase stops these crystals from forming.
How is rasburicase given?
It is given as an infusion over 30 minutes into a vein (intravenously) through a cannula, central venous catheter or implantable port. Rasburicase is usually given for about five days just before and during the first course of chemotherapy.
What are the side effects of rasburicase?
Some children receiving rasburicase may have an allergic reaction to the drug. This reaction may be mild to severe. Signs of a mild allergic reaction include skin rashes and itching, high temperature, shivering, redness of the face, a feeling of dizziness or a headache. If you see any of these signs, please report them to a doctor or nurse.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction include any of the above, as well as shortness of breath or chest pain. If you are in hospital and your child shows signs of a severe allergic reaction, call a doctor or nurse immediately. If you are at home and your child shows signs of a severe allergic reaction, call an ambulance immediately.
Rarely, rasburicase can cause problems with the way that the red blood cells work. Your child’s blood will be checked regularly to monitor this side effect.
Nausea and vomiting
Anti-sickness drugs can be given to reduce or prevent these symptoms. Please tell your doctor or nurse if your child’s sickness is not controlled or persists.
Rasburicase and interactions with other medicines
Some medicines can react with rasburicase, altering how well it works. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving your child any other medicine, including medicines on prescription from your family doctor (GP), medicines bought from a pharmacy (chemist) or any herbal or complementary medicines.
Important information about rasburicase
Please let your doctor know if your child or anyone in your family has glucose 6 dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD).
Last reviewed by Great Ormond Street Hospital: November 2009
Ref: 09F0780 © GOSH Trust November 2009
Compiled by the Pharmacy department in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group.
Please read this information in conjunction with any patient information leaflet provided by the manufacturer. However, please note that this information explains about the use of medicines in children and young people so may differ from the manufacturer’s information.
Each person reacts differently to medicines so your child will not necessarily suffer every side effect mentioned. This information does not constitute health or medical advice and will not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. If you have any questions, please ask your doctor. No liability can be taken as a result of using this information.