Leustatin

1 What is Leustatin?

Brand: Leustatin

Generic: Cladribine

Leustatin is an antimetabolite used to treat hairy cell leukemia and other cancers. This drug alters the growth of cancer cells by interfering with their DNA synthesis and repair. Normal cells can also be affected by this drug. 

Discuss the risks and benefits cladribine with your healthcare professional before starting treatment with this drug. Cladribine is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your healthcare professional.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before taking Leustatin, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. 

Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications. There is no data comparing the use of cladribine in children with use in other age groups. There are reports of testing this drug to children with certain types of cancers of the blood. 

It still unknown whether this drug works exactly the same way in younger adults than in the elderly. There is a risk to fetuses when taking this drug but the potential risk may be outweighed with the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease.

Studies regarding the possibility of infant risk when taking this drug medication during breastfeeding have not been established. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding. 

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects. 

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as Rotavirus Vaccine, Adenovirus Vaccine Type 4, Live Adenovirus Vaccine Type 7, Live Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine,  Dasabuvir, 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.  

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as prescription or non-prescription drugs. Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with magnesium 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 healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as chickenpox, Herpes zoster, gout or kidney stones.

3 Proper Usage

To use Leustatin properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Common side effects of this drug are mild nausea and vomiting. Ask your healthcare professional for ways to lessen these effects. The dosage of this medicine will be different 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.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Leustatin, there are some precautions you must take.

Your healthcare provider should closely monitor the effectiveness of this drug as well as check for unwanted effects. Avoid taking any immunizations during and after treatment with this drug as this may predispose of getting the infection the immunization is meant to prevent. 

Avoid any form of contact with persons who have viral infections such as polio and consider wearing protective equipment such as face mask that covers the nose and mouth. 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 Leustatin.

Your healthcare professional can check for side effects of this drug by doing certain tests. These effects such as certain types of cancer may not occur until months or years after this drug is used. 

Consult with your healthcare professional immediately if you experience symptoms of black, tarry stools, blood in urine, cough or hoarseness, accompanied by fever or chills, fever, lower back or side pain, accompanied by fever or chills painful or difficult urination, accompanied by fever or chills, pinpoint red spots on skin, unusual bleeding or bruising, skin rash, pain or redness at place of injection, shortness of breath, stomach pain, swelling of feet or lower legs, or unusually fast heartbeat. 

Anemia and low white cell counts in blood can also be caused by this drug. 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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