Cytosar (Cytarabine) is a well-tolerated and effective chemotherapy for treating nervous system disorders such as inflammation, viral infection, and lymphoma. Cytosar works specifically to inactivate DNA when it is being synthesized (S phase) during cell replication.
Because this medication is specific to a certain cycle in cell division it is best given as a continuous infusion into the vein. Alternatively, it may be given under the skin in a veterinary office or at home. If Cytosar is going to be given at your primary care veterinarian’s office or at your home, we will provide dosing instructions prior to discharge.
Exposure to people and animals can occur when handling this medication without the appropriate gloves or when handling fluids (urine, saliva, vomit) or feces. You are to wear gloves when handling these chemotherapy agents. Gloves should also be worn when handling any of your pet’s fluids or feces or materials having been in contact with your pet’s fluids or feces up to 72 hours following the last dose administration. Anytime skin contact occurs, the area should be washed immediately with soap and water.
Cytosar is excreted in the urine for 48 hours after administration. Your pet should urinate in a confined area away from other pets and neighbors. Direct sunlight will help to degrade the chemotherapy. If you pet vomits or regurgitates or drools excessively or urinates or defecates in the house within 72 hours of administering the chemotherapy drug, please follow the instructions outlined below for cleanup recommendations:
- Wearing the provided gloves, absorb urine or diluted Cytosar with paper towels
- Clean the area with a mixture of mild soap and water
- Clean the area (hardwood or carpet) with any standard household cleaner
- Double bag all paper towels, rags, and gloves and dispose of in the trash.
Side effects from Cytosar are uncommon but can include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and rarely, bruising. If these are noted, please call BVNS.