What is the most important information I should know about chlorambucil?
Chlorambucil is a cancer medication used to treat several types of cancer.
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 is chlorambucil?
Chlorambucil is a cancer medication 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 should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking chlorambucil?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to chlorambucil, or if you have received this medication in the past without successful treatment of your condition.
To make sure you 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.
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use chlorambucil if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
This medication 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 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 .
What should I avoid while taking chlorambucil?
This medicine can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). 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. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up 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.
Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids
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.
What are the possible side effects of chlorambucil?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking chlorambucil and call your doctor at once if you have:
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat, ongoing cough;
pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, blood in your urine or stools;
feeling weak or tired, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss;
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
an unusual mass or lump;
chest discomfort, feeling short of breath on exertion, dry cough or hack;
severe vomiting or diarrhea;
seizure (convulsions); 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:
mild nausea or diarrhea;
tremors or shaking; or
numbness, burning pain, or tingly feeling.
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 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.
Where can I get more information?
Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about chlorambucil.