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Side Effects
Serious

Signs of unusual bleeding, including black, tarry, or bloody stools; blood in the urine; bright red, pinpointlike dots on the skin; unusual bruising; excessive gum bleeding; uncontrolled bleeding. Seizures are associated with higher doses. Consult your doctor at once.
Common

Increased pigmentation (darkening) of the skin; menstrual irregularities or absent periods.
Less Common

Joint pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, sudden, unexpected loss of weight or appetite, lip or mouth sores, swelling in legs, ankles, and feet, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, unusual fatigue or weakness.
Busulfan


Drug Class:
Alkylating agent

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Myleran 2 mg
(Glaxo Wellcome)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions
 


Available In
Tablets

Why Prescribed
To treat certain forms of chronic leukemia (myeloid, myelocytic, and granulocytic leukemias). Busulfan slows the progress of these cancers, eases symptoms, and generally improves the condition of the patient, but it does not cure the disease. It is also used in conjunction with the transplanting of bone marrow to treat other forms of cancer.

How It Works
Leukemia, in its many varieties, is a cancer marked by overproduction and abnormal formation of white blood cells, which are made in the bone marrow. Busulfan interferes with the growth and function of all cells, including the cells of the bone marrow. By interfering with bone marrow function, busulfan slows the production of the abnormal white blood cells.

Range and Frequency
From 4 to 8 mg a day, as ordered by your doctor, until the desired response occurs.

Onset of Effect
Begins to take effect in 1 to 2 weeks.

Duration of Action
Up to 24 hours.

Dietary Advice
Swallow tablet with liquid after a light meal. Avoid sweet or fatty foods. Do not drink fluids with meals. Drink extra fluids between meals.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Stop taking this medicine only on your doctor's advice

Prolonged Use
Careful, continuous patient monitoring is needed during prolonged use.

Over 60
No special precautions are warranted.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Determine whether this drug affects your alertness and physical abilities before you drive or engage in hazardous activities.

Alcohol
Do not consume alcohol while you take this medicine.

Pregnancy
Busulfan may cause birth defects; it is best to use some method of birth control while you are taking this medicine. Inform your doctor at once if you become pregnant during therapy.

Breast Feeding
It is not known whether this medicine passes into breast milk. Breast feeding is generally not recommended while taking busulfan.

Infants and Children
This medicine is not expected to cause problems or side effects in children that are different from those it causes in adults.

Special Concerns
Busulfan can increase the risk of infection because it reduces the number of white blood cells in your body. Try to avoid contact with people who have infections. The medicine can also reduce blood levels of platelets, cells that are necessary for clotting. Be careful when using a toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick, and be careful to avoid cutting yourself when you use a knife, razor, or other sharp instrument.

Overdose Symptoms
Bleeding, chills, fever, collapse, loss of consciousness.

What to Do
Seek emergency medical assistance immediately; call emergency medical services (EMS) or go to a hospital emergency room.

Drug Interactions
Avoid any OTC product that contains aspirin, since it increases the danger of bleeding; carefully read ingredient labels of nonprescription drugs. Tell your doctor about any other drug you are taking, including an anticoagulant, any other anticancer drug, antithyroid medication, antibiotics, and antiviral medication.

Food Interactions
Avoid sweet or fatty foods.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have any other medical problem, such as a history of seizures, chicken pox (or recent exposure to someone with chicken pox), shingles, gout, kidney stones, any head injury, or any infection.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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