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busulfan

Pronunciation: bue SUL fan

Brand: Busulfex, Myleran

What is the most important information I should know about busulfan?

Multum donot

You should not use busulfan if you are allergic to it.

Multum nopreg

Do not use busulfan without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Before you receive busulfan, tell your doctor if you have a weak immune system, a seizure disorder, a history of head injury or breathing problems, or if you have recently received other cancer medications or radiation treatment.

Multum emt

Busulfan can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood will need to be tested on a weekly or monthly basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested on a regular basis. Busulfan can have long-lasting effects on your body. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor for blood or urine tests.

Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), weight loss, mouth sores, or unusual weakness.

Some people treated with busulfan have developed new forms of cancer. Talk to your doctor about your specific risks and benefits of using this medication.

What is busulfan?

Busulfan is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Busulfan is used to treat the symptoms of chronic myelogenous leukemia (a type of blood cancer). Busulfan is not a cure for leukemia.

Busulfan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using busulfan?

Multum donot

You should not use busulfan if you are allergic to it.

To make sure you can safely take busulfan, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a weak immune system (bone marrow depression) caused by other cancer medications or radiation treatment;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • history of head injury; or
  • a history of lung or breathing problems.
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use busulfan if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

This medication may affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether busulfan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Some people treated with busulfan have developed new forms of cancer. Talk to your doctor about your specific risks and benefits of using this medication.

How should I use busulfan?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Multum water

Take the busulfan tablet with a full glass of water.

Busulfan injection is given through a needle placed into a vein in your upper chest (central IV). You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. You will also receive other medications to help prevent certain side effects of busulfan.

Busulfan injection is usually given every 6 hours for 4 days in a row. The medicine must be given slowly through the IV, and each infusion can take at least 2 hours to complete.

Busulfan can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill.

Multum emt

To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a weekly or monthly basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested on a regular basis. Busulfan can have long-lasting effects on your body. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor for blood or urine tests.

Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), weight loss, mouth sores, or unusual weakness.

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Store busulfan tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Since busulfan injection is given by a healthcare professional, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, flu symptoms, mouth sores, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), pale skin, feeling tired or short of breath, rapid heart rate.

What should I avoid while using busulfan?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Multum donot

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using busulfan, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine.

What are the possible side effects of busulfan?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, trouble concentrating;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, loss of appetite, weight loss, unusual weakness, mouth and throat ulcers, rapid and shallow breathing;
  • weight gain, stomach swelling or tenderness, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • coughing up blood;
  • stomach pain, vomiting, sharp chest pain, trouble breathing;
  • lower back pain, blood in your urine, urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • confusion, jerking muscle movements, muscle tightness or contraction, overactive reflexes, muscle weakness or limp feeling, leg discomfort, numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth;
  • fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
  • weak pulse, feeling short of breath, confusion, fainting;
  • seizure (convulsions); or
  • persistent cough, congestion, low fever, feeling short of breath (these symptoms may occur several months or years after using busulfan).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • diarrhea, constipation, nausea, upset stomach;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • swelling or irritation around the IV needle;
  • missed menstrual periods; or
  • hair loss, darkened skin color.

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 busulfan?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • acetaminophen (Tylenol, others);
  • itraconazole (Sporanox); or
  • phenytoin (Dilantin).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with busulfan. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about busulfan.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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