Asparaginase (Elspar)

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This medication was discontinued by the manufacturer in December 2012, and is now essentially out of stock. Alternatives include Pegaspargase (Oncaspar) or Asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi (Erwinaze).

General information

Class/mechanism: Depletes plasma asparagine, selectively killing leukemic cells which are unable to synthesize asparagine due to a lack of asparagine synthetase.[1][2]
Route: IV, IM
Extravasation: neutral

For conciseness and simplicity, currently will focus on treatment regimens and not list information such as: renal/hepatic dose adjustments, metabolism (including CYP450), excretion, monitoring parameters (although this will be considered for checklists), or manufacturer. Instead, for the most current information, please refer to your preferred pharmacopeias such as Micromedex, Lexicomp, Medscape, UpToDate (courtesy of Lexicomp), or the prescribing information.[1]

Diseases for which it is used

Patient drug information

History of changes in FDA indication

  • 1978-01-10: Initial approval for acute lymphocytic leukemia. (Based on CCG 101/143)
  • 2002-08-01 (oldest label available at Drugs @ FDA): indicated in the therapy of patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia. This agent is useful primarily in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents in the induction of remissions of the disease in pediatric patients. ELSPAR should not be used as the sole induction agent unless combination therapy is deemed inappropriate. ELSPAR is not recommended for maintenance therapy.

Also known as

  • Generic names: colaspase, crisantaspase, L Asparaginase, L-ASP
  • Brand names: Asparaginasa, Chephacardin, Colaspase, Crasnitin, Elspar, Engenase, Kidrolase, Laspar, L Asparaginasa, L Asparaginasum, L-Asperone, L-Ginase, Leucoginase, Leunase, Onconase, Paronal, Spectrila