Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 23, 2020.
- Low blood cell counts have happened with Fludara (fludarabine injection). If blood cell counts get very low, this can lead to bleeding problems, infections, or anemia. Sometimes, these have been deadly. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may sometimes cause deadly autoimmune diseases. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause severe nervous system problems. Sometimes, this has led to blindness, coma, or death. Tell your doctor right away if you have a seizure, change in eyesight, or you feel agitated or confused.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Do not take Fludara (fludarabine injection) with pentostatin. Very bad and sometimes deadly lung problems may happen. Talk with the doctor.
The Fludara brand name has been discontinued in the U.S. If generic versions of this product have been approved by the FDA, there may be generic equivalents available.
Uses of Fludara:
- It is used to treat a type of leukemia.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Fludara?
- If you have an allergy to fludarabine or any other part of Fludara (fludarabine injection).
- If you are allergic to Fludara (fludarabine injection); any part of Fludara (fludarabine injection); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have kidney disease.
- If you have a type of anemia called hemolytic anemia.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Fludara (fludarabine injection).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Fludara (fludarabine injection) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Fludara?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Fludara (fludarabine injection). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how Fludara (fludarabine injection) affects you.
- Skin cancer has happened during or after treatment with Fludara (fludarabine injection). Talk with the doctor.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines while you take Fludara (fludarabine injection) and after you stop taking it. Vaccine use with Fludara (fludarabine injection) may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well. Talk with your doctor.
- Patients with cancer who take Fludara (fludarabine injection) may be at a greater risk of getting a severe health problem called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS).This may lead to death. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast or abnormal heartbeat; any passing out; trouble passing urine; muscle weakness or cramps; upset stomach, throwing up, diarrhea, or not able to eat; or feel sluggish.
- A very bad brain problem called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) has happened with Fludara (fludarabine injection). It may cause disability or can be deadly. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs like confusion, memory problems, low mood (depression), change in the way you act, change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or change in eyesight.
- If you have taken Fludara (fludarabine injection) and you are getting a blood transfusion, talk with your doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use Fludara (fludarabine injection) with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may affect sperm in men. This may affect being able to father a child. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- Women must use birth control while taking Fludara (fludarabine injection) and for some time after the last dose. Ask your doctor how long to use birth control. If you get pregnant, call your doctor right away.
- Men with a partner who may get pregnant must use birth control while taking Fludara (fludarabine injection) and for some time after the last dose. Ask your doctor how long to use birth control. If your partner gets pregnant, call the doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Fludara) best taken?
Use Fludara (fludarabine injection) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up or coughing up blood; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; abnormal vaginal bleeding; bruises without a cause or that get bigger; or bleeding you cannot stop.
- Signs of lung or breathing problems like shortness of breath or other trouble breathing, cough, or fever.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
- Trouble passing urine.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- A skin lump or growth.
- Change in color or size of a mole.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Not able to eat.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
What are some other side effects of Fludara?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
- Muscle pain.
- Diarrhea, throwing up, upset stomach, and feeling less hungry are common with Fludara (fludarabine injection). If these happen, talk with your doctor about ways to lower these side effects. Call your doctor right away if any of these effects bother you, do not get better, or get very bad.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Fludara?
- If you need to store Fludara (fludarabine injection) at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Fludara (fludarabine injection), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
More about Fludara (fludarabine)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- 1 Review
- Drug class: antimetabolites
- Other brands
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.