Disease Information & Support


The Word:


Generic name Arsenic trioxide
Pronunciation AR-sen-ik-trye-OK-side
Brand name(s), other common name(s) Trisenox®
Drug type  Cell-maturing agent
How the drug is given Intravenously (IV)

Arsenic trioxide is FDA approved to treat people who have relapsed or refractory acute promyelocytic leukemia ([APL], a type of acute myelogenous leukemia [AML]) in patients originally treated with retinoid or anthracyline chemotherapy and whose APL is characterized by the presence of the t(15;17) translocation or PML-RARa gene expression. Arsenic trioxide is also used to treat certain other types of blood cancers in patients who have not responded to other medications. Arsenic trioxide seems to interfere with the growth of cancer cells, which are then eventually destroyed by the body.

Side effects needing medical attention: Chills; convulsions (seizures); cough; confusion; decreased urine output; dry mouth; eye pain; general feeling of illness; headache; increased thirst; irregular heartbeat; joint pain; loss of appetite; mood changes; muscle pain or cramps; nausea or vomiting; numbness or tingling in hands, feet or lips; shortness of breath or trouble breathing; sore throat; unusual tiredness or weakness; diarrhea; acid or sour stomach; back pain; bloating or swelling of face, hands, lower legs and/or feet; bone pain; constipation; flushing; heavy (nonmenstrual) vaginal bleeding; itchy, red skin; injection site pain, redness or swelling; itching; limb pain; depression; neck pain; nosebleeds; pale skin; chills; trouble sleeping or getting to sleep; weight gain.


For information on how to manage the costs of drug therapy, please see Financial Matters and Prescription Drug Coverage, or to speak with an Information Specialist, call (800) 955-4572.

last updated on Friday, October 12, 2012