Generic Name: chlorambucil (klor AM bue sil)
Brand Name: Leukeran
What is Leukeran (chlorambucil)?
Chlorambucil is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Chlorambucil is used to treat several types of cancer, including Hodgkin's disease and certain types of leukemia or lymphoma.
Chlorambucil may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Leukeran (chlorambucil)?
Chlorambucil can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Leukeran (chlorambucil)?
You should not use chlorambucil if you are allergic to it, or if you have received chlorambucil in the past without successful treatment of your condition.
To make sure chlorambucil is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a history of seizures;
a history of head injury or brain tumor; or
if you have received radiation or chemotherapy within the past 4 weeks.
Taking chlorambucil may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk.
Do not use chlorambucil if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy during treatment. Tell your doctor if you miss a menstrual period.
Chlorambucil may affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman.
It is not known whether chlorambucil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take Leukeran (chlorambucil)?
You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are using chlorambucil.
Chlorambucil is usually taken for 3 to 6 weeks. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Chlorambucil can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
Store chlorambucil tablets in the refrigerator, do not freeze.
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.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking Leukeran (chlorambucil)?
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
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 chlorambucil. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, 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 (chlorambucil) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
an unusual mass or lump;
severe vomiting or diarrhea;
new or worsening cough;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
low white blood cell counts--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing; or
severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common side effects may include:
bone marrow suppression (fever, bleeding, flu symptoms).
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Leukeran (chlorambucil)?
Other drugs may interact with chlorambucil, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Leukeran (chlorambucil)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about chlorambucil.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.05.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: September 22, 2015