Vyxeos : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More


Vyxeos (Daunorubicin and cytarabine lipid complex) is different than other products containing these medications and should not be substituted for one another.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Vyxeos (Daunorubicin and cytarabine lipid complex) is used to treat certain types of acute myeloid leukemia (AML; a type of cancer of the white blood cells) in adults and children 1 year of age and older. Daunorubicin is in a class of medications called anthracyclines. Cytarabine is in a class of medications called antimetabolites. Vyxeos slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body.

How should this medicine be used?

Vyxeos comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. It is usually injected over 90 minutes once a day on certain days of your treatment period.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving Vyxeos,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to daunorubicin, cytarabine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Vyxeos. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), cholesterol-lowering medications (statins), iron products, isoniazid (INH, Laniazid, in Rifamate, in Rifater), methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall), niacin (nicotinic acid), or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater), Also tell your doctor if are taking or have ever received certain cancer chemotherapy medications such as doxorubicin (Doxil), epirubicin (Ellence), idarubicin (Idamycin), mitoxantrone, or trastuzumab (Herceptin). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with Vyxeos, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
  • tell your doctor if you have previously received radiation therapy to the chest area or have or have ever had heart disease, a heart attack, or Wilson’s disease (a disease that causes copper to accumulate in the body); or if you have an infection, blood-clotting problems, or anemia (decreased amount of red blood cells in the blood).
  • you should know that this medication may cause infertility in men; however, you should not assume that you cannot get someone else pregnant. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you plan to father a child. You or your partner should not become pregnant while you are receiving Vyxeos. You should use birth control to prevent pregnancy in yourself or your partner during your treatment with Vyxeos and for 6 months after your final dose. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you become pregnant while receiving Vyxeos, call your doctor. Vyxeos may harm the fetus.
  • tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with Vyxeos and for at least 2 weeks after your final dose.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are receiving Vyxeos.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Vyxeos may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sores in the mouth and throat
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • stomach pain
  • tiredness
  • muscle or joint pain
  • headache
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • unusual dreams or sleep problems, including trouble falling or staying asleep
  • vision problems

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • pain, itching, redness, swelling, blisters, or sores in the place where the medication was injected
  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or lower legs
  • fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • fever, chills, sore throat, cough, frequent or painful urination, or other signs of infection
  • excessive tiredness or weakness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • nosebleed
  • black and tarry stools
  • red blood in stools
  • bloody vomit
  • vomited material that looks like coffee grounds
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • dark brown or yellow ring around the iris of the eye

Vyxeos may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to Vyxeos.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Vyxeos®

Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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