WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Voraxaze (glucarpidase)
has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat
high blood levels of methotrexate, a common chemotherapy drug.
While methotrexate is normally removed from the blood by the
kidneys, people who are prescribed high levels of methotrexate may
develop kidney failure, leading to a buildup of the drug in the
Voraxaze is an enzyme that breaks down methotrexate into a form
that is more easily eliminated from the body, the FDA said in a
A toxic buildup of methotrexate can lead to kidney and liver
damage, mouth sores, intestinal damage, skin rash and sometimes
death, the agency said.
Voraxaze was evaluated in a clinical trial of 22 people. Ten of
the 22 participants saw blood methotrexate levels fall below a
critical level within 15 minutes. Among all participants, Voraxaze
eliminated 95 percent of methotrexate, the FDA said.
The most common side effects of Voraxaze included low blood
pressure, headache, nausea, vomiting and flushing.
Voraxaze is marketed by BTG International of West Conshohocken,
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