cladribine

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cladribine

Pronunciation:KLAD ri been
Brand:Cladribine Novaplus, Leustatin

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

nopregDo not use cladribine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Before you receive cladribine, tell your doctor If you have liver or kidney disease or a bone marrow problem.

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

donotTell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as numbness or tingling, weakness or burning pain in your fingers or toes, lower back pain, blood in your urine, urinating less than usual, pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, or feeling like you might pass out.

What is cladribine?

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

Cladribine is used to treat hairy cell leukemia (a type of blood cancer).

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving cladribine?

donotYou should not use this medication if you are allergic to it.

If you have liver or kidney disease or a bone marrow problem, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive cladribine.

nopregFDA pregnancy category D. Do not use cladribine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
nobrfeedIt is not known whether cladribine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are receiving cladribine.

How is cladribine given?

Cladribine is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.

Cladribine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and you will receive it around the clock for 7 days in a row. Your doctor will determine how many 7-day treatments you will receive and how often.

You may receive other medications to help prevent certain side effects of cladribine.

Cladribine can lower the 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.

emtTo be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver or kidney function may also need to be tested. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin, loss of appetite, mouth sores, or unusual weakness.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since this medication is given in a healthcare setting around the clock, you will not miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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

Overdose symptoms may include flu symptoms, pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, urinating less than usual, numbness or burning pain in your hands or feet spreading inward to the rest of your body.

What should I avoid while receiving cladribine?

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 cladribine?

emtGet 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.
donotTell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
  • numbness, tingling, weakness, or burning pain in your fingers or toes;
  • numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • lower back pain, blood in your urine, urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction, overactive reflexes;
  • fast or slow heart rate, weak pulse, feeling short of breath;
  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion; or
  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin, loss of appetite, mouth sores, unusual weakness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, tired feeling;
  • nausea, diarrhea, constipation;
  • mild itching or skin rash;
  • cough; or
  • pain, swelling, or irritation around the IV needle.

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 cladribine?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially drugs that weaken your immune system such as:

  • any other cancer medications;
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf);
  • sirolimus (Rapamune), tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • basiliximab (Simulect), efalizumab (Raptiva), muromonab-CD3 (Orthoclone);
  • mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept);
  • azathioprine (Imuran), leflunomide (Arava), etanercept (Enbrel); or
  • steroids such as prednisone, dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol) fluticasone (Flonase, Advair), methylprednisolone (Medrol), mometasone (Asmanex, Nasonex), and others.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with cladribine. 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 cladribine.


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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