What does preserving neurological
function mean to you?

Welcome! This resource has been developed to provide you with important information about Lymphomatous Meningitis (LM) as well as DepoCyt® as a treatment option.

Preserving neurological function starts with DepoCyt®.

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DepoCyt® (cytarabine liposome injection) is indicated for the intrathecal treatment of lymphomatous meningitis.

Important Safety Information


Chemical arachnoiditis, a syndrome manifested primarily by nausea, vomiting, headache and fever, was a common adverse event in all clinical studies. If left untreated, chemical arachnoiditis may be fatal. Patients receiving DepoCyt should be treated concurrently with dexamethasone to mitigate the symptoms of chemical arachnoiditis. [See Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.2) in full prescribing information]


DepoCyt® (cytarabine liposome injection) is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to cytarabine or any component of the formulation, and in patients with active meningeal infection.

Warnings and Precautions
  • In-line filters must not be used when administering DepoCyt. DepoCyt is administered directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) via an intraventricular reservoir or by direct injection into the lumbar sac. DepoCyt should be injected slowly over a period of 1-5 minutes. Following drug administration by lumbar puncture, the patient should be instructed to lie flat for 1 hour. Patients should be observed by the physician for immediate toxic reactions.
Chemical Arachnoiditis
  • Chemical arachnoiditis, a syndrome manifested primarily by nausea, vomiting, headache and fever, has been a common adverse event in all studies. If chemical arachnoiditis is suspected, exclude other inflammatory, infectious, or neoplastic conditions. If left untreated, chemical arachnoiditis may be fatal. The incidence and severity of chemical arachnoiditis can be reduced by coadministration of dexamethasone. Patients receiving DepoCyt should be treated concurrently with dexamethasone to mitigate the symptoms of chemical arachnoiditis.
  • Toxic effects may be related to a single dose or to cumulative administration. Because toxic effects can occur at any time during therapy (although they are most likely to occur within 5 days of drug administration), patients receiving intrathecal therapy with DepoCyt should be monitored continuously for the development of neurotoxicity. If patients develop neurotoxicity, reduce subsequent doses of DepoCyt. If neurotoxicity persists, discontinue DepoCyt.
  • Hydrocephalus has also been reported, possibly precipitated by arachnoiditis.
  • Arachnoiditis is an expected and well-documented side effect of both neoplastic meningitis and of intrathecal chemotherapy. The incidence of severe and life-threatening arachnoiditis in patients receiving DepoCyt was 19% (48/257) in all patients and 30% (10/33) in patients with lymphomatous meningitis. In the early dose-finding study, chemical arachnoiditis was observed in 100% of cycles without dexamethasone prophylaxis. When concurrent dexamethasone was administered, chemical arachnoiditis was observed in 33% of cycles.
  • Intrathecal administration of cytarabine may cause myelopathy and other neurologic toxicity and can rarely lead to a permanent neurologic deficit. Administration of intrathecal cytarabine in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents or with cranial/spinal irradiation may increase this risk of neurotoxicity.
  • Blockage to CSF flow may result in increased free cytarabine concentrations in the CSF and an increased risk of neurotoxicity. Therefore, as with any intrathecal cytotoxic therapy, consideration should be given to the need for assessment of CSF flow before treatment is started.
  • Following intrathecal administration of DepoCyt, central nervous system toxicity, including persistent extreme somnolence, hemiplegia, visual disturbances including blindness which may be total and permanent, deafness and cranial nerve palsies have been reported. Symptoms and signs of peripheral neuropathy, such as pain, numbness, paresthesia, weakness, and impaired bowel and bladder control have also been observed. In some cases, a combination of neurological signs and symptoms has been reported as Cauda Equina Syndrome.
  • If patients develop neurotoxicity, reduce subsequent doses of DepoCyt or discontinue DepoCyt. Headache, nausea, and fever are expected in early signs of neurotoxicity.
Transient Elevations in CSF Protein and CSF White Blood Cells
  • Transient elevations in CSF protein and white blood cell counts have been observed in patients following DepoCyt administration.
Embryo-fetal Toxicity
  • Cytarabine, the active component of DepoCyt, can cause fetal harm if a pregnant woman is exposed to the drug systemically. The systemic exposure of cytarabine following intrathecal administration of DepoCyt is negligible. Cytarabine was teratogenic in mice and rats. Cytarabine was embryotoxic in mice when administered during the period of organogenesis. If this drug is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential harm to a fetus.
Adverse Reactions
  • After intrathecal administration of cytarabine the most frequently reported reactions (≥ 10%) are headache NOS, nausea, vomiting NOS, arachnoiditis, weakness, confusion, pyrexia, fatigue, constipation, back pain, gait abnormal NOS, convulsions NOS, dizziness NOS, lethargy, pain in limb, insomnia, urinary tract infection NOS, neck pain, death NOS, pain, memory impairment, dehydration, anemia NOS, diarrhea NOS, appetite decreased NOS, thrombocytopenia, edema peripheral, arthralgia, neck stiffness, vision blurred, muscle weakness, neutropenia, hypoesthesia, agitation, and dyspnea NOS.

Click here to see full prescribing information, including Boxed WARNINGS.

You are encouraged to report side effects to Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc. at 1-888-393-4584 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

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