Cytarabine is an effective antitumor
drug. But the type and extent of a cancer determines how well this
drug slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.
Cytarabine is often combined with other drugs.
Cytarabine is often given with another medicine called dexamethasone. This is done to prevent a possibly fatal side effect called chemical arachnoiditis. This causes symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, headache, and fever. Your doctor will watch you closely when you are given cytarabine.
Other side effects that are common with cytarabine include:
platelet counts (thrombocytopenia), which may lead to bleeding in the
digestive tract causing
tarry stools. It may also cause bleeding under the
skin, in the urine, or other places in the body.
and loss of appetite.
Headaches or seizures.
This is reversible, and hair will grow back when treatment
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.