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Side Effects
Serious

Black or tarry stools; blood-tinged (pink or maroon) urine or stools; cough or hoarseness; fever; chills; lower back pain or pain in flanks; painful, difficult urination; small, red spots on the skin; bleeding from gums, nose, or other unusual places; easy bruising; shortness of breath. These side effects may mean that normal blood cells and special blood-clotting cells have been affected, or that normal immune cells have been affected and an infection is developing somewhere in your body. See your doctor right away if any of these occur.
Common

Nausea and vomiting.
Less Common

Painful joints, rash, itching, swelling of feet or lower legs (edema), changes in menstruation.
Chlorambucil


Drug Class:
Alkylating agent

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Leukeran 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 some types of cancer, especially leukemia and lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). More specifically, chlorambucil is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (a type of leukemia caused by overproduction and abnormal formation of certain white blood cells important in the body's immune system) and Hodgkin's disease (a type of cancer affecting the lymphatic system, characterized by painless swelling of the lymph nodes).

How It Works
Chlorambucil kills cancer cells by interfering with the activity of their genetic material, thus preventing the cells from reproducing. The drug may also affect the growth and development of normal cells in the body, resulting in unpleasant side effects.

Range and Frequency
Initial dose: 0.1 to 0.2 mg per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of body weight daily (approximately 4 to 10 mg per day) for 3 to 6 weeks. Maintenance dose will depend on white blood cell counts.

Onset of Effect
Within 3 to 4 weeks.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
Swallow with liquid 2 hours after a light meal. Drink plenty of 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
The decision to stop taking chlorambucil should be made by your doctor.

Prolonged Use
Consult with your doctor about the need for periodic medical exams and blood tests, since adverse reactions are more likely the longer the drug is used.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and severe in elderly patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Should not interfere with any activities requiring mental alertness.

Alcohol
Avoid alcohol.

Pregnancy
Chlorambucil may cause birth defects. Persons of childbearing years should take steps to prevent pregnancy when being treated with this medication.

Breast Feeding
Not recommended during therapy.

Infants and Children
No special problems are expected, although children with impaired kidney function may be at greater risk of having seizures while taking chlorambucil.

Special Concerns
Infection is the single greatest threat to people receiving chemotherapy. Chlorambucil may lower your ability to resist infection by lowering the number of white blood cells in the blood. Therefore, do not receive any vaccinations without doctor's approval. Avoid people with infections. Inform your doctor immediately if you have fever, chills, diarrhea, or a cough.

Overdose Symptoms
Fever, chills, unusual bleeding, seizures, agitation.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking amphotericin B (by injection), other antineoplastic (anticancer) drugs, antithyroid medications, chloramphenicol, colchicine or other antigout drugs, corticosteroid drugs, or immunosuppressant drugs (such as azathioprine, cyclosporine, ganciclovir, and interferon).

Food Interactions
Avoid consuming excess quantities of foods high in fat or sugar.

Disease Interactions
Caution is advised. Consult your doctor if you have any of the following: gout; a history of kidney stones; an active infection; recent exposure to chicken pox or shingles; liver or kidney problems.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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