Cytarabine Liposome (Intrathecal)

Cytarabine Liposome is used to treat cancer of the lymph system that has spread into the brain of the patient.


Cytarabine Liposome is an antineoplastic chemotherapy treatment that is used for the treatment of cancer of the lymph system that has spread into the patient's brain.

Lipsomal cytatabine interferes with the development of cancers cells, which are then destroyed by the body over time.

This treatment will also affect the development and growth of normal healthy cells, so it is likely that other side effects will occur in the patient. Some of these may be extremely serious and may require medical attention to be sought.

You should discuss both the benefits of use and the risks of use in detail with your doctor before you begin treatment with Cytarabine Liposome.

This treatment will only be administered under the supervision of a medical professional.

It is provided in suspension form for injection directly into the spinal canal.

Condition treated

  • Lymph cancer

Type of medicine

  • Chemotherapy
  • Antineoplastic

Side Effects

This medication will have significant side effects in the patient. In some cases the side effects can be severe or even fatal. Not all side effects may occur, but in some cases you will need to seek emergency or immediate medical attention.

You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects from the use of Cytarabine Liposome:

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  • Inability to move
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Change in balance
  • Seizures
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Memory problems
  • Unusual weakness
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Swelling in the arms or the legs
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Shortness of breath without exertion
  • Eyesight changes
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Hearing changes
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of control of bladder
  • Loss of control of bowels
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Tingling in hands or feet
  • Muscle weakness

Other side effects may occur that would not normally require you to seek medical attention. These side effects may abate overtime but if they become bothersome or are ongoing then you should ask your doctor how to alleviate the symptoms.

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  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
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  • Feeling tired
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  • Belly pain
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  • Inability to sleep
  • Joint pains
  • Loose stools

Other side effects that have not been listed herein may also occur. If you experience other side effects then you should contact your doctor for advice on how to alleviate the side effects.


This medication will often cause the patient to vomit and feel nauseous. It is important, however, that you continue use even when it begins to make you feel ill. Ask your doctor how you may be able to lessen these effects.

The dosing and administration of this medication will all be carried out by your doctor. The dose will be personal to you depending on your specific condition, your weight, your age and other factors.


This medication can interact with a wide range of medications. In some cases the use of medications in conjunction with one another can have life-threatening results and in others they may stop each other from working. The use of this treatment will lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and making vaccinations unsuitable. You should inform your doctor of all medications you are taking before you begin treatment with this drug. This is especially important in the following cases.

The use of Cytarabine Liposome in conjunction with the following treatments is not recommended. Your doctor will decide to cease use of one or both treatments:

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Cytarabine Liposome is not recommended for use in conjunction with the following treatments except in extreme circumstances. Your doctor may prescribe both, but doses and frequency of use may need to be changed:

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  • Typhoid Vaccine
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  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Live
  • Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live
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  • Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live
  • Adenovirus Vaccine

Interactions may occur with other medications not listed here. Inform your doctor of all treatments that you are taking before administration and inform all healthcare professionals that you are taking Cytarabine Liposome before they treat you.

The use of this medication can cause severe allergic reactions. Patients should be alert to the following symptoms and should contact a doctor immediately if they occur:

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  • Rash
  • Swelling
  • Blistering skin
  • Fever
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Tightness of the throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Swelling of the mouth and lips
  • Swelling of the tongue

This treatment may also cause electrolyte imbalances in patients. You should contact your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Changed mood
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increased speed of heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Thirstiness
  • Hunger
  • Inability to urinate
  • Change in urination
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
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All signs of infection should be reported to the doctor as soon as possible. This includes coughs, colds, changes to color of sputum, sores and wounds that are not healing at the normal rate.

High blood sugar can also occur from the use of this treatment. You should look out for symptoms of high blood sugar including:

  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Thirstiness
  • Hunger
  • Increased urination
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Increased rate of breathing
  • Fruit-like breath

This medication can in rare cases cause a brain irritation called chemical arachnoiditis. If this occurs then it can be fatal in the patient. You should be alert to the following symptoms:

  • Feverishness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Back pain
  • Stiffness of the neck

Your doctor will monitor you during and following administration to look out for these signs.

Other medical problems from which you suffer may also impact the use of this treatment. You should inform your doctor of all conditions that you suffer from or have suffered from in the past. This is particularly important with the following conditions:

  • Active meningitis
  • Blocked cerebrospinal fluid flow


Before taking this medication you should consider the serious risks of doing so. You should weigh the benefits of use against the risk of treatment with your doctor. Ensure that you have considered all of the potential interactions and side effects before use of this treatment and ensure that you have discussed the following with your doctor:

Allergies: You must inform your doctor of any allergies from which you suffer. This is particularly important if you have ever had a bad allergic reaction to any medications. Ensure they are also aware of any allergies you have had to foods, dyes, preservatives, animals or other substances.

Pediatric: No tests have been carried out for the use of Cytarabine Liposome in children. Discuss use with your doctor.

Geriatric: There is no specific information on the difference in use of this treatment in elderly patients. Be cautious of age-related medical conditions that may limit or hinder use.

Pregnancy: There is a demonstrable risk to the fetus when treatment of Cytarabine Liposome is used on a pregnant female. You should inform your doctor if you are pregnant before you receive a dose. In some cases the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation can outweigh the risks posed. Discuss this with your doctor.

Breastfeeding: The risk from breastfeeding during treatment is unknown. You should discuss this with your doctor and weigh the potential risks against the benefits of use.


This medication will be stored in the hospital and prepared for use and administration in a clinic or hospital environment. You should ensure that you are able to attend the appointments.


Cytarabine Liposome is a treatment used in patients with lymph cancer that has progressed into the brain.

It is a form of chemotherapy and is a part of the medical group of antineoplastics.

Dexamethasone will usually be administered to the patient before use to help to relieve the side effects caused by the treatment. Cytarabine Liposome is then injected directly into the spinal column.

This medication works by attacking developing cancer cells to help in their destruction. The treatment will also attack healthy cells, however, and in doing so side effects will occur.

Some of the side effects of this treatment can be very severe or even fatal. This medication will be administered in a hospital by a trained medical professional and you will be monitored during administration and immediately afterwards too.

The use of this treatment is a very serious undertaking and you should discuss the benefits of treatment in relation to the risks before you begin use of this treatment. Consider all of the possible side effects and dangers and discuss these with your doctor before proceeding.