fludarabine (generic name)

It interferes with the growth of cancer cells
(floo DARE a been)
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What is this medicine?

FLUDARABINE (floo DARE a been) is a chemotherapy drug. It interferes with the growth of cancer cells. It is usually used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • infection (especially virus infection such as chickenpox or cold sores)
  • kidney disease
  • low blood counts like low platelets, red blood cells, white blood cells
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to fludarabine, other chemotherapy, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This drug is given as an infusion into a vein. It is administered in a hospital or clinic by a specially trained health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • pentostatin

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • medicines to increase blood counts like filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, sargramostim
  • vaccines

Talk to your doctor or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:

  • acetaminophen
  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen
  • ketoprofen

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.

Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.

Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.

Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.

Men should inform their doctors if they wish to father a child. This medicine may lower sperm counts.

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Last Updated: April 22, 2009
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