Omacetaxine Injection

Name: Omacetaxine Injection

Why is this medication prescribed?

Omacetaxine injection is used to treat adults with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML; a type of cancer of the white blood cells) who have already been treated with at least two other medications for CML and can no longer benefit from these medications or cannot take these medications due to side effects. Omacetaxine injection is in a class of medications called protein synthesis inhibitors. It works by slowing the growth of cancer cells.

How should this medicine be used?

Omacetaxine injection comes as a liquid to be injected under the skin by a healthcare provider in a medical facility. At the beginning of treatment, it is usually given twice a day for the first 14 days of a 28-day cycle. Once your doctor finds that you are responding to omacetaxine injection, it is usually given twice a day for the first 7 days of a 28-day cycle.

Your doctor may delay the start of a treatment cycle or may decrease the number of days that you receive omacetaxine injection during a treatment cycle if you experience serious side effects of the medication or if blood tests show a decrease in the number of blood cells you have. Be sure to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Omacetaxine injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • weakness
  • headache
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • pain in the joints, back, arms, or legs
  • hair loss

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • nosebleed
  • blood in urine
  • bright red blood in stool
  • black or tarry stool
  • confusion
  • slurred speech
  • vision changes
  • sore throat, fever, chills, cough, and other signs of infection
  • shortness of breath
  • excessive tiredness
  • excessive hunger or thirst
  • frequent urination
  • seizures
  • rash

Omacetaxine injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to omacetaxine injection.

Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about omacetaxine injection.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Synribo®