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Leustatin

Generic Name: cladribine (KLAD ri been)
Brand Name: Cladribine Novaplus, Leustatin

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Sep 24, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

The Leustatin 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.

What is Leustatin?

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

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

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

Important Information

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

Leustatin 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).

Tell your caregivers at once if you have a side effect such as numbness or tingling, weakness or burning pain in your fingers or toes, or feeling like you might pass out.

Before taking this medicine

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

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

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • a bone marrow problem.

Do not use Leustatin if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It 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 Leustatin given?

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

Leustatin 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.

Leustatin 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. Visit your doctor regularly.

Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, cough with yellow or green mucus, loss of appetite, mouth sores, 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?

Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving Leustatin?

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

Leustatin can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. 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.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using Leustatin, 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), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Leustatin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell 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;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • redness, swelling, or itching under your skin;

  • 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;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin; or

  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, cough with yellow or green mucus, loss of appetite, mouth sores, unusual weakness.

Common side effects may include:

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 Leustatin?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Leustatin, especially drugs that weaken immune system such as:

  • any other cancer medication;

  • steroids; or

  • medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection.

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

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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