Disease Information & Support


The Word:


Generic name Asparaginase
Pronunciation a-SPARE-a-gin-ase
Brand name(s), other common name(s) n/a
Drug type  Enzyme that prevents cancer cells from surviving
How the drug is given Intravenously (IV) or intramuscular (IM) injection

Asparaginase is FDA approved in combination with chemotherapy to treat people who have acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Side effects needing medical attention: Difficulty in breathing; joint pain; puffy face; rash or itching; stomach pain (severe) with nausea and vomiting; fever or chills; inability to move arm or leg; unusual bleeding or bruising; confusion; drowsiness; lower back or side pain; hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not there); depression; nervousness; sores in the mouth or on lips; swelling of feet or lower legs; tiredness; unusually frequent urination; unusual thirst; seizures; severe headache.

Side effects needing medical attention after stopping this medication: Severe headache; inability to move arm or leg; severe stomach pain with nausea and vomiting. 


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 Wednesday, December 26, 2012