Cytarabine (Ara-C)

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General information

Class/mechanism: Pyrimidine analog, mimics cytosine. Converted intracellularly into cytarabine-5-triphosphate (ara-CTP). Exact mechanism of action not known; believed to inhibit DNA polymerase, incorporate into DNA and RNA, and kill cells undergoing DNA synthesis (S-phase) and sometimes block cells from progressing from the G1 phase to the S-phase.[1][2]
Route: IV, IT, SC
Extravasation: irritant or neutral, depending on reference

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 or the prescribing information.[1]

Diseases for which it is established (work in progress)

Diseases for which it is used

Diseases for which it was used

Patient drug information

History of changes in FDA indication

  • 1969-06-17: initial FDA approval
  • 1998-10-15 (oldest label available at Drugs @ FDA): indicated in combination with other approved anticancer drugs for remission induction in acute nonlymphocytic leukemia of adults and pediatric patients. (No supporting studies are cited)
  • 1998-10-15 (oldest label available at Drugs @ FDA): indicated in the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukemia and the blast phase of chronic myelocytic leukemia. (No supporting studies are cited)
  • 1998-10-15 (oldest label available at Drugs @ FDA): Intrathecal administration is indicated in the prophylaxis and treatment of meningeal leukemia. (No supporting studies are cited)

History of changes in EMA indication

  • 2001-07-11: EURD

History of changes in PMDA indication

Also known as

  • Generic names: Ara-C, arabinosylcytosine, arabinofuranosyl cytidine, cytosine arabinoside
  • Brand names:
Alcysten Alexan ARA Arabine Arabitin Aracitin Aracytin Aracytine
Citagenin Citaloxan Citarabin Citarabina Citarabins Citarax Cylocide Cytarabin
Cytarabins Cytarabinum Cytarbel Cytarine Cytosar Cytosar-U Cytrosar Erbabin
Erpalfa Fauldcita Groven Ifarab Iretin Laracit Medsara Novutrax
Remcyta Starasid Tabin Tabine Udicil