Busulfan (By mouth)


Busulfan (bue-SUL-fan)
Treats certain kinds of leukemia (blood cancer).

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to busulfan, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

  • 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.
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. Drink plenty of fluids while using this medicine.
If a dose is missed:
  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

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 itraconazole (Sporanox®), thioguanine (Tabloid®), or other cancer medicines. Tell your doctor about all chemotherapy or radiation treatments you have had.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • If you plan to have children, talk with your doctor before using this medicine. Some men and women using this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children).
  • 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 breast feeding. Tell your doctor if you have thalassemia, myasthenia gravis, or a history of seizures or head injury.
  • This medicine may cause a rare but serious lung problem, which may develop months or years after you stop using the medicine. Signs of this problem include cough, trouble breathing, and low fever. These symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly. Talk with your doctor about this possible risk.
  • Using this medicine may increase your risk of developing other kinds of cancer, or having a recurrence of leukemia. Talk with your doctor about this risk.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools.
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Chest pain or pressure, trouble breathing.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, darkening of your skin.
  • Seizures.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness, pale skin.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Change in your menstrual periods.
  • Dry mouth, nose, or eyes, decreased sweating.
  • Hair loss.
  • Problems with vision.
  • Skin rash.
  • Swelling of your breasts.

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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