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What Is Rasburicase Used For?

How Does This Medicine Work?

Uric acid is a chemical that forms when the body breaks down substances known as purines. When cancer cells are destroyed by chemotherapy, they may release purines and other substances into the body. When the body breaks down these purines, uric acid levels can increase and cause problems.  
 
Rasburicase is an enzyme called urate oxidase (an enzyme is a protein that starts a chemical reaction). Urate oxidase causes a reaction that converts uric acid into an inactive form that is easier for the body to excrete. This can help lower uric acid levels, or prevent uric acid levels from increasing in the first place. 
 
Urate oxidase is not naturally found in humans. Instead, rasburicase is made from a genetically altered strain of yeast. 
 

Can Children Use Rasburicase?

Rasburicase is approved for use in children, regardless of age. In clinical studies, children younger than age 2 were less likely to have normal uric acid levels within 48 hours of starting treatment than children 2 to 17 years of age. There were not enough children younger than 6 months old in clinical trials to determine if they would respond differently to the medicine than older children.
 

Is It Safe for Older Adults to Use Rasburicase?

Older adults can be treated with rasburicase. In clinical studies, older adults tolerated and responded to the medication no differently than younger age groups.
 

What About Off-Label Uses?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medicine for treating something other than the uses discussed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. For example, rasburicase may be prescribed off-label to treat gout.
 
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