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Voraxaze Approved to Treat High Levels of Chemo Drug

Voraxaze Approved to Treat High Levels of Chemo Drug

01/18/12

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Voraxaze (glucarpidase) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat high blood levels of methotrexate, a common chemotherapy drug.

While methotrexate is normally removed from the blood by the kidneys, people who are prescribed high levels of methotrexate may develop kidney failure, leading to a buildup of the drug in the bloodstream.

Voraxaze is an enzyme that breaks down methotrexate into a form that is more easily eliminated from the body, the FDA said in a news release.

A toxic buildup of methotrexate can lead to kidney and liver damage, mouth sores, intestinal damage, skin rash and sometimes death, the agency said.

Voraxaze was evaluated in a clinical trial of 22 people. Ten of the 22 participants saw blood methotrexate levels fall below a critical level within 15 minutes. Among all participants, Voraxaze eliminated 95 percent of methotrexate, the FDA said.

The most common side effects of Voraxaze included low blood pressure, headache, nausea, vomiting and flushing.

Voraxaze is marketed by BTG International of West Conshohocken, Penn.

More information

Medline Plus has more about methotrexate.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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