Fludarabine (Injection)

Introduction

Fludarabine (floo-DAYR-a-been)

Treats chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Fludara

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to fludarabine or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
  • The medicine is usually given every day for 5 days. This 5-day treatment is given again every 28 days until your body responds to the medicine. Each treatment usually takes about 30 minutes.
  • If any of this medicine gets on your skin or in your eyes, nose, or mouth, tell your caregiver right away.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using pentostatin (Nipent®).
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever been treated with radiation or other cancer drugs.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease or gout.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine.
  • Some of the side effects of this medicine may appear up to 60 days after you have stopped using this medicine.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Blood in your urine, pain in your side or joints
  • Confusion, extreme tiredness, fainting, or trouble seeing
  • Cough, chest pain, or trouble breathing
  • Fever, chills, sore throat, or other signs of infection
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Skin rash
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild tiredness
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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