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fludarabine (injection)

Pronunciation: floo DAR a been

Brand: Fludara

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

Multum nopreg

Do not use fludarabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Multum emt

Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving fludarabine, whether you are a man or a woman. Fludarabine use by either parent may cause birth defects.

Before you receive fludarabine, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, bone marrow problems or a weak immune system, any active infection, a history of skin cancer, or a history of a viral infection such as herpes zoster (shingles), Epstein-Barr, or a virus affecting the central nervous system.

Multum emt

If you need to have a blood transfusion, tell your caregivers ahead of time that you are being treated with fludarabine.

Fludarabine 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. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Multum donot

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using fludarabine, 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.

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), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, or unusual weakness.

What is fludarabine?

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

Fludarabine is used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Fludarabine is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful response to treatment.

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before I receive fludarabine?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to fludarabine, or if you are also being treated with a cancer medicine called pentostatin (Nipent).

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

  • kidney disease;
  • bone marrow problems or a weak immune system;
  • any active infection;
  • a history of skin cancer; or
  • a history of a viral infection such as herpes zoster (shingles), Epstein-Barr, or a virus affecting the central nervous system.
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use fludarabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Multum nopreg

Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving fludarabine, whether you are a man or a woman. Keep using birth control for at least 6 months after your treatment ends. Fludarabine use by either parent may cause birth defects.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether fludarabine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are receiving fludarabine.

How is fludarabine given?

Fludarabine is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Fludarabine must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take about 30 minutes to complete.

Fludarabine is usually given daily for 5 days in a row every 28 days. Once your body has responded well to the medication, your doctor may recommend additional treatment cycles.

Multum emt

Fludarabine can be harmful if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If skin contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water or rinse the eyes thoroughly with plain water.

Fludarabine 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. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Multum emt

If you need to have a blood transfusion, tell your caregivers ahead of time that you are being treated with fludarabine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss an appointment for your fludarabine injection.

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 fever, cough, trouble breathing, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness, vision problems, behavior changes, or some of the other serious side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving fludarabine?

Multum donot

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using fludarabine, 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), oral polio, chickenpox (varicella), BCG (Bacillus Calmette and Guérin), and nasal flu vaccine.

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

What are the possible side effects of fludarabine?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty 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:

  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, or unusual weakness;
  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine;
  • cough with yellow or green mucus, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood;
  • lower back pain, blood in your urine;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth, fast or slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting;
  • muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction, overactive reflexes;
  • drowsiness, mood changes, increased thirst, swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • vision problems, headache or pain behind your eyes, changes in behavior, confusion, agitation, seizure (convulsions); or
  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea;
  • mild itching or skin rash;
  • headache;
  • muscle pain; or
  • tired feeling.

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 fludarabine?

There may be other drugs that can interact with fludarabine. 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 doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about fludarabine.


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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