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Asparaginase (Erwinia [Recombinant])


Brand names:


Other names:

Asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi (recombinant)

Often used for:

Leukemia, Lymphoma

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About asparaginase

Recombinant Erwinia asparaginase (Rylaze®) is a type chemotherapy. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cells. It is used in combination with other medicines. This medicine is given to patients who have had reactions to similar drugs such as calaspargase (Asparlas), asparaginase (Elspar®), or pegaspargase (Oncaspar®).

The care team will watch your child closely for signs of an allergic reaction. Your child will have regular tests to check blood counts, blood clotting factors, pancreatic enzymes, blood sugar, liver function, and kidney function.

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Given as an injection (shot) into a muscle

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Possible side effects

  • Increased blood sugar levels
  • Increased risk of bleeding or blood clots
  • Liver problems
  • Increased triglyceride levels in the blood
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Abdominal (belly) pain
  • Ongoing abdominal pain that may spread to the back, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Swelling, pain, redness, and warmth at the injection site

Allergic Reaction: Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, rash, itching, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Not all patients who take this medicine will have these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report any symptoms or side effects to your doctor or pharmacist. Find more information on side effects.

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Tips for families

Be sure to discuss all questions and instructions with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • After getting asparaginase, your child may be monitored for 1 hour for symptoms of an allergic reaction. Do not leave the hospital during this time. Tell a health care provider right away if your child has swelling, pain, redness, or warmth at the injection site.
  • Tell your care team if your child has or has ever had:
    • Pancreatitis, blood clots, allergic reaction or severe bleeding, especially if these happened during treatment with asparaginase (Elspar®) or pegaspargase (Oncaspar®) 
    • Diabetes
  • Contact your health care provider if your child has severe stomach pain, back pain, or sudden abdominal (belly) pain. Also call your clinic for any severe, sudden headache or problems with vision, speech, or walking.
  • Your child may bleed more easily. Brush teeth gently with a soft toothbrush and avoid activities that can cause injury.
  • If your child has unusual thirst or hunger or urinates more often than normal, tell your care team right away.
  • It is important that patients tell the care team if they are sexually active, pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 6 months after treatment is complete. 
  • Take steps to protect caregivers and family members from drug hazards. Follow instructions for chemotherapy safety. Avoid contact with patient body fluids, which can contain the drug for 48 hours after it is given.