Fludara

Generic Name: Fludarabine

  • What is Fludara?

    Fludara is a medicine used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in people whose disease has not responded to or has progressed during or after treatment with at least one standard treatment regimen. This medication slows or stops the growth of cells, especially in those that grow fast, such as cancer cells. Fludara is administered intravenously (through a vein in your arm).

  • What is the most important information I should know about Fludara?

    Fludara can cause life-threatening side effects on your nervous system. It can also affect your lungs, especially in combination with another anticancer medication called pentostatin. Tell your doctor immediately if you have problems seeing; feel very sleepy, tired, agitated, or confused; have seizures; or have shortness of breath or trouble breathing.

    Fludara can cause low red blood cell counts or low platelet (type of blood cells that form clots to help stop bleeding) counts. Fludara can also cause a decrease in neutrophil (type of cell that fights infections) counts in your blood. This can increase your risk of developing an infection. Your doctor will monitor your blood cell counts before you start Fludara and regularly during your treatment. Tell your doctor if you experience bleeding, tiredness, or signs of an infection.

    Fludara can cause immune system problems, such as hemolytic anemia (a blood disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed), autoimmune thrombocytopenia or idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (a blood disorder in which platelets are destroyed), Evans syndrome (a blood disorder in which red blood cells, platelets, or white blood cells are destroyed), and acquired hemophilia (a bleeding disorder). Tell your doctor immediately if you experience yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes or dark urine. Your doctor will closely monitor you while you are receiving this medicine.

    Fludara can cause tumor lysis syndrome, a life-threatening condition characterized by a rapid release of contents from tumor cells into your blood and causing metabolic problems, including abnormally high levels of uric acid in your blood.

    Fludara can cause harm to your unborn baby if you receive it during pregnancy. If you are a man, use appropriate contraceptive measures while you are receiving Fludara. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

  • Who should not take Fludara?

    Your doctor will not administer Fludara to you if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Fludara?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Fludara. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or bleeding problems, or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Your doctor will administer the appropriate dose for you based on your weight and height.

    If you have kidney impairment, your doctor will adjust your dose appropriately.

  • How should I take Fludara?

    Your doctor will administer Fludara to you. It takes about 30 minutes to give you the full dose of Fludara.

    Your doctor will tell you how often you should receive Fludara.

  • What should I avoid while taking Fludara?

    Do not miss your scheduled appointment to receive Fludara.

    Do not receive live vaccines during and after treatment with Fludara. Talk to your doctor before you receive any vaccinations.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Fludara?

    If Fludara is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following prior to treatment with Fludara: live vaccines or pentostatin.

  • What are the possible side effects of Fludara?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: chills, cough, decreased blood cell counts, diarrhea, fever, infections, irritation or redness in your mouth, loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, vomiting, weakness

  • Can I receive Fludara if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Fludara can cause harm to your unborn baby if you receive it during pregnancy. The effects of Fludara while breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Fludara?

    Contact your doctor if you miss your scheduled appointment to receive Fludara.

  • How should I store Fludara?

    Your doctor will store this medication for you.