Generic name: chlorambucil (klor AM bue sil)
Brand name: Leukeran
Drug class: Alkylating agents
Leukeran is used to treat several types of cancer, including Hodgkin's disease and certain types of leukemia or lymphoma.
Leukeran may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Leukeran can increase your risk of bleeding or infection. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or new signs of infection (fever, chills, weakness).
Before taking this medicine
You should not be treated with Leukeran if you are allergic to it, or if you have received this medicine in the past without successful treatment of your condition.
You may not be able to receive Leukeran if you've ever had an allergic reaction to another cancer drug such as bendamustine, busulfan, carmustine, dacarbazine, ifosfamide, lomustine, mechlorethamine, melphalan, streptozocin, or temozolomide.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- a seizure;
- a head injury or brain tumor; or
- if you have received radiation or chemotherapy within the past 4 weeks.
Taking Leukeran may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk.
Do not use Leukeran if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby or cause birth defects. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using Leukeran.
This medicine may affect fertility (ability to have children) in both men and women. However, women should still use birth control to prevent pregnancy because Leukeran can harm an unborn baby.
You should not breastfeed while using this medicine.
How should I take Leukeran?
You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are using Leukeran.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Leukeran is usually taken for 3 to 6 weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Leukeran can increase your risk of bleeding or infection. You will need frequent medical tests. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results.
Store Leukeran tablets in the refrigerator.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include agitation, fast heartbeats, skin rash, bruising, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, trouble breathing, or signs of infection (fever, chills, weakness).
What should I avoid while taking Leukeran?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using Leukeran. The vaccine may not work as well and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
Leukeran side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- a seizure;
- an unusual mass or lump;
- severe vomiting or diarrhea;
- new or worsening cough;
- bone marrow suppression--dizziness, pale lips or fingernail beds, fast heart rate, getting easily tired or short of breath;
- liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
- low blood cell counts--fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.
Common side effects may include:
- bone marrow suppression;
- low blood cell counts;
- missed menstrual periods;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or
- sores or white patches in or around your mouth.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Leukeran?
Other drugs may affect Leukeran, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.