Leukeran is a prescription drug and its off-label use is mainly for autoimmune diseases like lupus.
Cancer of the blood and lymph system, such as chronic lymphatic leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, and other types of lymphoma are treated with Alkylating agents.
Chlorambucil is an FDA-approved drug that belongs to this group and its mechanism of action is to destroy cancer cells by interfering with their growth. Their effects can also target normal cells which also exhibit changes to cell structure and function.
Before taking this drug, you and your healthcare provider should weigh the risks and benefits of taking chlorambucil.
Inform your healthcare provider if you experience side effects when taking, and after stopping treatment with this drug.
Leukeran is a prescription drug and its off-label use is mainly for autoimmune diseases like lupus.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before taking Leukeran, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to this medicine or any other medicines, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.
Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications. Studies between the relationship of age to the effects of chlorambucil in the pediatric population are still inconclusive whereas safety and efficacy of this drug is still under investigation.
Geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of chlorambucil in the elderly have not been encountered.
Caution and dose adjustment is required for elderly patients, who are more likely to have kidney, liver, or heart problems, receiving chlorambucil. Similar treatment must also be done to pregnant women.
A risk to the fetus is present when using chlorambucil but the potential risk may be outweighed by the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease. Infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding is still under investigation. Consult with your healthcare professional before taking this drug while breastfeeding.
Taking this drug with other drugs is not recommended. If it cannot be avoided, ask you healthcare provider to change the dose, or advise other precautions.
Vaccination with Live Rotavirus Vaccine, Adenovirus Vaccine Type 4, Live Adenovirus Vaccine Type 7, Live Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live Bupropion Donepezil Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live Measles Virus Vaccine, Live Mumps Virus Vaccine, Live Poliovirus Vaccine, Live Rubella Virus Vaccine, Live Smallpox Vaccine ,Typhoid Vaccine, Varicella Virus Vaccine, and Yellow Fever Vaccine is usually not recommended when taking chlorambucil, but may be required in some cases and the dosage must be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with chlorambucil is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco. Inform your doctor of any other current medical problems, especially Bone marrow depression, Head injury or Seizures, Gout or Kidney stones, and Infections as this drug may cause these conditions to worsen.
Inform your healthcare provider for any liver diseases as the effects of chlorambucil may be increased because of slower removal of the drug from the body.
Leukeran must be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Additional or prolonged doses could increase the chance of side effects. Chlorambucil is sometimes given in combination with other medicines, proper time of taking the drugs must always be remembered and mixing with other drugs must be avoided. Inquire your healthcare provider for any plan to properly take this drug on time.
To maintain healthy kidney function and prevent any kidney problems, extra fluid intake volume is recommended when taking chlorambucil in order to facilitate better excretion of the drug in the urine.
Nausea and vomiting can be experienced from time to time and even if you begin to feel ill, continue to use the medicine. Consult with your healthcare provider before deciding to stop taking this drug. If you experience any side effects, consult your healthcare provider for any ways to lessen these effects.
The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients. The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug.
Chronic lymphatic leukemia and other types of lymphoma are prescribed with tablets. The body weight will be used for adult dosing and calculated by a healthcare professional. A single dose 0.1 milligram per kilogram of body weight per day for 3 to 6 weeks is usually given. A healthcare provider will determine the use and dosage for children with lymphomas.
The dosage for Hodgkin's disease in Adults is based on body weight and must be determined by a healthcare provider. A single dose of 0.2 milligram per kilogram of body weight per day for 3 to 6 weeks is usually given. A healthcare provider will determine the use and dosage for children with Hodgkin’s disease. A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.
Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.
4 Precautions to Take
Before using Leukeran, there are some precautions you must take.
A follow-up medical check-up is needed to make sure that the drug working properly and to allow your healthcare professional to check for any unwanted effects. These effects can be checked using blood tests.
A pregnancy test is given by your healthcare professional before taking this drug to make sure you are not pregnant. It is important for women of childbearing age to use an effective form of birth control.
Infertility has been associated with this drug; consult with your healthcare professional if you plan to have children before using this drug. Stop taking this drug and consult with your healthcare professional immediately if you experience serious skin reactions such as blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills. Your body’s resistance may be lowered when taking chlorambucil, consult with your healthcare professional before taking any vaccination during or after treatment with this drug to prevent any infection from vaccines. Also, avoid people who have recently taken oral polio vaccine or those who have been immunized to prevent polio infection. Wear a protective face mask to cover your nose and mouth if you cannot make these precautions. .
Unwanted effects such as infection and bleeding can occur by taking this drug. An increased chance of getting an infection can be caused by this drug by temporarily lowering the number of white blood cells in your blood. Platelet number can also be lowered, which are needed proper blood clotting.
Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
When you suspect an infection, if you are experiencing fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, painful or difficult urination, or if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin, consult with your healthcare professional immediately. Toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick should be used with care. Other ways to clean your teeth and gums can be recommended by your healthcare professional. Before having any dental work done, consult with your healthcare professional. Observe proper hand washing before touching your eyes or the inside of your nose.
Be careful when handling sharp tools or objects to prevent any unwanted open wounds which can be an entry of infection. Activities which can cause bruising or injury should be avoided.
Inform your healthcare professional any skin rash, fever, cough that won't go away, irregular monthly period, nausea or vomiting, seizures, unusual lumps, or yellow eyes or skin.
Inform your healthcare professional of your other cancer treatments or radiation therapies within the past 4 weeks.
Inquire your healthcare professional about other ways to control the common side effects of this drug such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
5 Potential Side Effects
As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Leukeran.
Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur. Black, tarry stools bleeding gums blood in the urine or stools chest pain cough or hoarseness, accompanied by fever or chills fever or chills lower back or side pain, accompanied by fever or chills painful or difficult urination, accompanied by fever or chills pinpoint red spots on the skin shortness of breath sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth swollen glands troubled breathing with exertion unusual bleeding or bruising unusual tiredness or weakness are the more common side-effects.
Changes in menstrual period, nausea and vomiting, Itching joint pain large, swollen hives, skin rash, swelling of the feet or lower legs are less common side effects.
Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin diarrhea muscle pain muscle twitching red skin lesions, often with a purple center red, irritated eyes seizures shakiness and unsteady walk shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet sore throat sudden jerky movements of the body unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination, anxiety, confusion, dry mouth, hyperventilation, irregular heartbeats, irritability, no muscle tone or movement restlessness, seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there trouble sleeping are rare.
Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness bone pain clay colored stools dark urine decreased appetite difficult breathing headache large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs loss of appetite trouble getting pregnant troubled or quick, shallow breathing yellow eyes or skin have unknown incidence. Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention.
Consult with your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any of the following side effects. Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention as these may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the drug.
Consult with your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects persists, or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional.
Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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