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fludarabine (oral)

Pronunciation: floo DAR a been

Brand: Oforta

What is the most important information I should know about fludarabine?

Multum nopreg

Do not use fludarabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking fludarabine, whether you are a man or a woman. Keep using birth control for at least 6 months after your treatment ends. Fludarabine use by either parent may cause birth defects.

Before you take fludarabine, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, bone marrow problems, or a weak immune system.

Multum emt

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 are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

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

What is 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 should I discuss with my healthcare provider before I take fludarabine?

Multum donot

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 fludarabine dose adjustment or special tests:

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

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use fludarabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Multum nopreg

Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking fludarabine, whether you are a man or a woman. Keep using birth control for at least 6 months after your treatment ends. Fludarabine use by either parent may cause birth defects.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether fludarabine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking fludarabine.

How should I take fludarabine?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Fludarabine is usually taken 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 may be taken with or without food.

Multum nocrush

Do not crush, chew, or break a fludarabine tablet.

Multum water

Swallow the tablet whole with water.

Multum donot

Do not use a tablet that has been accidentally broken. The powder from a crushed or broken pill can be dangerous if you breathe it in, or if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a broken tablet.

If you accidentally touch a broken tablet, wash your skin with soap and water. Call your doctor if you develop a skin rash or severe irritation.

Multum avoideyes

If the powder from a broken tablet gets in your eyes, rinse them with water for at least 15 minutes.

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.

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

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.

Multum emt

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

Keep each tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take it. Push a tablet through the foil when you are ready to take the medicine.

Multum donot

Do not allow other people to handle a fludarabine tablet. Keep the medicine in a place where children and pets cannot get to it.

Multum rt

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Do not throw away unused or expired fludarabine tablets in your household trash. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a community pharmaceutical take back disposal program.

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?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include fever, chills, flu symptoms, mouth sores, easy bruising or bleeding, purple or red spots under your skin, behavior changes, and vision loss.

What should I avoid while taking fludarabine?

Multum donot

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

Avoid activities that increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Brush your teeth gently and use extra care while shaving.

Multum emt

If you have a fever, avoid taking any fever medication without first asking your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of fludarabine?

Multum emt

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.

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine;
  • fast or slow heart rate, weak pulse, trouble concentrating, feeling tired or short of breath;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • vision problems, confusion, agitation, changes in behavior, or feeling like you might pass out;
  • cough with yellow or green mucus, stabbing chest pain, trouble breathing;
  • black or bloody stools, coughing up blood;
  • lower back pain, blood in your urine, pain or burning when you urinate;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth; or
  • muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction, overactive reflexes.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • muscle pain;
  • swelling in your legs;
  • mild nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • cold symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing;
  • sweating; or
  • mild itching or skin rash.

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 fludarabine?

There may be other drugs that can interact with fludarabine. 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.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or 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.

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