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Drugs reference index «Fludara»

Fludara

Generic Name: fludarabine (floo DAYR a been)Brand Names: Fludara

What is Fludara (fludarabine)?

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

Fludarabine is used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Fludarabine is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful response to treatment.

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

What is the most important information I should know about Fludara (fludarabine)?Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Before you receive fludarabine, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, bone marrow problems or a weak immune system, any active infection, a history of skin cancer, or a history of a viral infection such as herpes zoster (shingles), Epstein-Barr, or a virus affecting the central nervous system.

If you need to have a blood transfusion, tell your caregivers ahead of time that you are being treated with fludarabine.

Fludarabine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with fludarabine, 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.

Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, or unusual weakness.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before I receive Fludara (fludarabine)?You should not use this medication if you are allergic to fludarabine, or if you are also being treated with a cancer medicine called pentostatin (Nipent).

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive fludarabine:

  • kidney disease;
  • bone marrow problems or a weak immune system;

  • any active infection;

  • a history of skin cancer; or

  • a history of a viral infection such as herpes zoster (shingles), Epstein-Barr, or a virus affecting the central nervous system.

FDA pregnancy category D. Fludarabine can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not receive fludarabine without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving fludarabine, whether you are a man or a woman. Fludarabine use by either parent may cause birth defects. Tell your doctor if a pregnancy occurs during treatment with fludarabine. It is not known whether fludarabine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is fludarabine given?

Fludarabine is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take about 30 minutes to complete.

Fludarabine is usually given daily for 5 days in a row every 28 days. Once your body has responded well to the medication, your doctor may recommend additional treatment cycles.

Fludarabine can be harmful if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If skin contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water or rinse the eyes thoroughly with plain water.

Fludarabine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

If you need to have a blood transfusion, tell your caregivers ahead of time that you are being treated with fludarabine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss an appointment for your fludarabine injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medication.

Overdose symptoms may include fever, cough, trouble breathing, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness, vision problems, behavior changes, or some of the other serious side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving Fludara (fludarabine)?

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with fludarabine, 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.

Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Fludara (fludarabine) side effects

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. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, or unusual weakness;

  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine;

  • cough with yellow or green mucus, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath;

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools, coughing up blood;

  • lower back pain, blood in your urine;

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;

  • numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth, fast or slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting;

  • muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction, overactive reflexes;

  • drowsiness, mood changes, increased thirst, swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • vision problems, headache or pain behind your eyes, changes in behavior, confusion, agitation, seizure (convulsions); or

  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea;

  • mild itching or skin rash;

  • headache;

  • muscle pain; or

  • tired 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 Fludara (fludarabine)?

There may be other drugs that can interact with fludarabine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about fludarabine.
  • 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.
  • 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 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.02. Revision Date: 06/23/2009 11:41:33 AM.
  • Fludara Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Fludara Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Fludara Injection MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Fludarabine Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • fludarabine Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Fludarabine MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Oforta Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Oforta Consumer Overview

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