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Arsenic Trioxide - A drug used to kill cancer cells (by causing cancer cells to self-destruct). It is a form of the naturally occurring compound arsenic and is given intravenously (into a vein). Arsenic trioxide (also called Trisenox®) is most commonly used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) that has proven resistant to other treatment options. APL is a fast-growing type of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) characterized by too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow.
In some cases, serious side effects may accompany the use of arsenic trioxide, and require immediate medical attention. These side effects can include the following: acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) differentiation syndrome (characterized by lung problems, shortness of breath, fever, and weight gain), allergic reaction (usually characterized by closing of the throat, hives, and swelling of the faces, lips, and/or tongue), and changes in heartbeat patterns or fainting.
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