|Type of medicine||Alkylating drug|
|Used for||Treatment of a variety of different cancers|
Chlorambucil can be used to treat a variety of different cancers. Cancer is caused by the division of cells in an uncontrolled, abnormal way. Chlorambucil works by preventing the growth and division of cells, and so reduces the number of abnormal cells your body makes.
Before taking chlorambucil
Before taking chlorambucil make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you and your partner are trying for a baby or intend to have children in the future.
- If you have liver problems.
- If you have nephrotic syndrome or any other kidney problems.
- If you ever had a fit or convulsion.
- If you are receiving or have recently received radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
- If you suffer from porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take chlorambucil
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Chlorambucil will be given to you by a specialist doctor who is experienced in treating cancer. Take it exactly as your doctor tells you to.
- Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not break, crush or chew them.
- Try to take chlorambucil at the same time each day to avoid missing any doses.
- If you are sick shortly after taking a dose, or if you forget a dose, contact your doctor. You will be told whether to take the dose again, or wait until the next dose is due.
Getting the most from your treatment
- It is important that you do not get pregnant or father a child while you are taking chlorambucil. Ask your doctor about suitable contraception.
- If you are male, there is a risk of reduced fertility after chlorambucil treatment. If you and your partner intend to have children in the future, ask your doctor for advice about family planning before you begin chlorambucil.
- Keep your regular appointments with the doctor or hospital so that your progress can be checked. You will need to have regular blood tests during your treatment with chlorambucil.
- While you are taking chlorambucil and for a while after you stop treatment, do not have any immunisations (vaccinations) without talking to your doctor first. Chlorambucil lowers your body's resistance and there is a risk that you may get an infection from the vaccine.
- If you are having any treatment like an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking chlorambucil.
- Do not stop taking chlorambucil without speaking with your doctor first.
Can chlorambucil cause problems?
Chlorambucil can lower the number of white cells in your blood, increasing the chance of you getting an infection. You should take certain precautions to reduce the risk of infection - if possible, avoid people with infections and let your doctor know if you think you are getting a sore throat or if you have a high temperature.
Your doctor will have discussed with you the possibility of unwanted side-effects of treatment with chlorambucil. Let your doctor know if you experience any of the following or any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine.
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods. Let your doctor know about this as you can be given an anti-sickness medicine|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. If this continues, speak with your doctor|
|Mouth ulcers||Brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day with a soft toothbrush and regularly using a mouth rinse may help to prevent this. If mouth ulcers become a problem, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you experience any of the following speak with your doctor immediately or go to your local accident and emergency department without delay:
- Any sign of fever or infection.
- Skin rash.
- Unexpected bruising or bleeding.
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes).
How to store chlorambucil
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Leukeran® Tablets 2 mg; Manufacturer's PIL, Leukeran® Tablets 2 mg, Aspen Europe GmbH, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2008.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 18/11/2010||Document ID: 1406 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.