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Leukeran

Generic Name: chlorambucil (klor AM bue sil)
Brand Name: Leukeran

Medically reviewed on September 22, 2017

What is Leukeran?

Leukeran is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Leukeran is used to treat several types of cancer, including Hodgkin's disease and certain types of leukemia or lymphoma.

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

Important Information

Leukeran 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).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Leukeran if you are allergic to it, or if you have received this medicine in the past without successful treatment of your condition.

To make sure Leukeran is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Taking Leukeran may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk.

Do not use Leukeran 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.

Leukeran 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 Leukeran.

How should I take Leukeran?

You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are using Leukeran.

Leukeran 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.

Leukeran 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 Leukeran 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?

Leukeran 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 Leukeran. 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 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:

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • 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?

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.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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