Elitek is a drug specifically designed to help control uric acid levels in adults and children who have leukemia, lymphoma, or solid tumor cancers. This prescription medication is given as a slow injection (intravenous, or IV, infusion) once a day for up to five days. Nausea, vomiting, and anxiety are some of the possible side effects.
What Is Elitek?
Elitek® (rasburicase) is a prescription medication approved to manage uric acid levels in adults and children being treated for certain types of cancer. Some cancer treatment can increase uric acid levels in the blood, and Elitek is used to prevent or treat this increase in uric acid.
Elitek is made by Hospira, Inc., for sanofi-aventis U.S., LLC.
How Does Elitek Work?
Uric acid is a chemical that forms when the body breaks down substances known as purines. When cancer cells are destroyed by chemotherapy, they may release purines and other substances into the body. When the body breaks down these purines, uric acid levels can increase and cause problems.
Elitek is an enzyme called urate oxidase (an enzyme is a protein that starts a chemical reaction). Urate oxidase causes a reaction that converts uric acid into an inactive form that is easier for the body to excrete. This can help lower uric acid levels or prevent uric acid levels from increasing in the first place.
Urate oxidase is not naturally found in humans. Instead, Elitek is made from a genetically altered strain of yeast.
Elitek Web site. Available at: http://www.Elitek.com. Accessed October 21, 2012.
Food and Drug Administration Web site. Vaccines, Blood and Biologics, Resources for Healthcare Providers. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/ResourcesforYou/HealthcareProviders/default.htm. Access October 21, 2012.
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