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Fludarabine ( Fludara)

 

Warning: Fludarabine for the treatment of cancers is known to produce some severe and highly uncomfortable side effects in patients. Some patients have experienced allergic reactions to substances in this medication. If you have an allergy to any of the ingredients in this medication, tell your doctor before you receive treatment.

 

This medication may also cause or worsen certain situation such as bone marrow diseases or blood disorders. You should to try to avoid spreading infections, any cuts on your skin, or activities that may cause bruising.  If you experience fever, chills, or a sore throat due to infection, notify your doctor as the situation may be more severe than normal when you are taking Fludarabine. You should also not receive immunizations or live vaccinations while taking this drug unless your doctor has recommended it. Always speak to your physician before receiving another medical treatment or taking a new medication.

 

Indications: This medication was developed for the treatment of leukemia and other cancers, and should only be used under the supervision of health care professionals. The drug enters your blood stream by an IV injected into your vein, and then it targets harmful cancer cells. Fludarabine can slow or even stop the continual growth of harmful cancer cells.

 

Dosage: Your physician will determine your appropriate dosage based on your body size, medical conditions, and your response to the drug. Different patients respond physically, mentally, and emotionally in a variety of ways. The drug is generally administered once a day for five consecutive days, taking about thirty minutes each time.

 

Fludarabine can damage organs in your body. It is very important during the treatment that you drink plenty of water to help your body get rid of the toxic effects of the drug. This helps prevent kidney problems and improve the curative effects of the drug.  

Overdose: overdosing Fludarabine can be fetal. In fact, even at normal dose, Fludarabine can lead to a decrease in white blood cells and platelets, which can cause serious infections; therefore, avoid anything that might weaken your immune system and the risk of infection while taking Fludarabine.  

Contraindications : There are some situations, including medical conditions, which would not be favorable circumstances while receiving treatment with this drug. This medication is not recommended for pregnant women or breast-feeding mothers. This drug may also produce more severe or harmful side effects in patients with certain medical conditions such as blood disorders. Talk to your doctor about all of your medical history before proceeding with this treatment.

 

Fludarabine is contraindicated in the following conditions:  

  • allergy to Fludarabine or any of its constituents 
  • chronic kidney failure 
  • hemolytic anemia 
  • pregnancy or breastfeeding  
  • vaccination with live attenuated vaccine  
  • severe liver failure 
  • Taking Pentostatine (deoxycoformycin). 

Fludarabine is not recommended or should be used with caution in patients whose general condition is poor, mainly those suffering from: 

 

  • immune deficiency  
  • thrombocytopenia  
  • neutropenia  
  • anemia  
  • Opportunistic infections.  

Mechanism of action (MOA): Fludarabine is the antimetabolite; it kills cancer cells by inhibiting their growth and preventing them from multiplying.  

Interactions : Because of the severe side effects you may experience with Fludarabine, it is important to avoid taking other medications at the same that may augment the negative side effects. Give your physician a complete list of all other medications that you are taking and talk about the risks of receiving them at the same time, as well as any replacement medicines that may be more beneficial. Some medications that may interact with this drug are blood thinners such as warfarin, pentostatin, salicylates like ibuprofen and aspirin, and live vaccines. Do not try to manage your own medications by stopping or starting new medications without first speaking to your physician.

 

Tell your oncologist before using the following medications:

  • Azathioprine
  • Colchicine
  • Dipyridamole
  • Flucytosine
  • Ganciclovir
  • interferon
  • Pentostatin
  • Plicamycin
  • Zidovudine 

Side effects: Fludarabine tends to cause adverse effects in most patients; the most common Fludarabine side effects include: 

  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness
  • muscle pain
  • rash or itching
  • Tiredness or weakness 

Some Fludarabine side effects can be severe and require immediate medical care. See a medical professional If you experience any of these symptoms:   

  • severe depression symptoms
  • chest pain
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • confusion
  • hearing loss
  • persistent cough
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Numbness, pain or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs.