Leukeran treats certain types of blood cancers. It can cause nausea and diarrhea. Women should not get pregnant while on Leukeran.
Leukeran is a prescription medication used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL, a type of cancer of the white blood cells). Leukeran is also approved for the treatment of certain lymphomas. Leukeran is in a group of drugs called alkylating agents which work by affecting DNA replication causing rapidly multiplying cancer cells to die.
This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once daily for 3 to 6 weeks.
Common side effects of Leukeran include anemia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
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Leukeran Cautionary Labels
Uses of Leukeran
Leukeran is a prescription medication used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL; a type of cancer of the white blood cells). Leukeran is also approved for the treatment of certain lymphomas.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Leukeran Drug Class
Leukeran is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Leukeran
Leukeran may cause side effects including:
- bone marrow suppression which can cause low levels of red and white blood cells as well as low levels of platelets (increasing risk of infection, anemia, and blood clotting problems)
- unusual tiredness
- mouth and throat sores
Tell your doctor if any of the above symptoms are severe or do not go away.
Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms of serious side effects:
- swelling of face, mouth, throat
- difficulty breathing
- unusual bruising, bleeding
- black, tarry stools
- blood in urine
- sore throat
- dark urine
- yellowing of skin, eyes
- upper right stomach area pain
- lumps or masses
This is not a complete list of Leukeran side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take or are planning to take:
- live vaccines
- biologic and immunologic medications
- other medications known to affect white blood cell counts
This is not a complete list of Leukeran drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Leukeran can cause serious side effects, some of which are life-threatening, such as:
- a decrease in the number of blood cells produced by bone marrow, causing anemia, increased risk for infection, and increased risk of bleeding
- an increased risk in the development of other cancers, including leukemia
- permanent infertility (sterility) by interfering with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and stopping the sperm production in men
- severe, sometimes fatal skin rashes including Steven's Johnson syndrome
Leukeran Food Interactions
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Leukeran there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Leukeran
Before receiving Leukeran, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions including if you have:
- liver or kidney disease
- a history of seizures
- an infection
- ever had a head injury
- received radiation or chemotherapy treatment
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any ingredient in Leukeran or any other medication, especially other alkylating agents.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Leukeran and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
This medication falls into category D. It has been shown that use of Leukeran in pregnant women caused some babies to be born with problems. However, in some serious situations, the benefit of using this medication may be greater than the risk of harm to the baby.
Leukeran and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Leukeran is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby. Because this medication has the potential to harm your nursing baby, you and your doctor will need to decide whether you should stop nursing or disontinue the medication.
Leukeran comes as a tablet to be taken by mouth at around the same time each day.
- Take Leukeran exactly as prescribed.
- If you forget a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose.
- Your doctor will monitor your blood counts regularly.
The recommended dosage is usually 4 mg to 10 mg taken once daily for 3 to 6 weeks. For some people, Leukeran is taken intermittently, as a single dose once every 2 weeks, or as a single dose once a month. The dose is individualized based on weight, the type of cancer being treated, response to the medication, and other medical conditions.
Your doctor may recommend a lower dosage if you have kidney or liver disease or if, during treatment, your blood counts drop too low.
If you take too much this medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
If this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
- Store this medication in the refrigerator.
- Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.
Leukeran FDA Warning
Leukeran can severely suppress bone marrow function. Leukeran is a carcinogen in humans. Leukeran is probably mutagenic and teratogenic in humans. Leukeran produces human infertility.