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Rasburicase is used to prevent or treat high levels of uric acid (a natural substance that builds up in the blood as tumors break down) in patients with certain types of cancer who are receiving chemotherapy medications.

How it works

Rasburicase, a urate-oxidase enzyme, works by eliminating the excess uric acid that is produced when cancer cells are destroyed.

Common side effects

Nausea, Ankle swelling, Limb swelling, Anxiety, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Fever, Headache, Mouth ulcer, Sore throat, Stomach pain, Vomiting


Expert advice

  • Seek immediate medical attention if you develop severe allergic reaction: swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other part of your body; shortness of breath, wheezing or breathing problems; rash, itching or hives.
  • Discontinue taking rasburicase if you develop hemolysis (abnormal break down of blood) or methemoglobinemia (abnormal blood pigment levels).
  • You may be monitored for uric acid level to decide the duration of treatment.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is rasburicase a chemo drug/ cytotoxic?
No. Rasburicase is not a chemo or cytotoxic drug.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)