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Clofarabine (By injection)

Clofarabine (kloe-FAR-a-been)

Treats acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Brand Name(s):

Clolar, Clolar Novaplus

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to clofarabine or you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • The medicine is usually given every day for 5 days. Each treatment usually takes about 2 hours.
  • You may receive other medicines to help prevent vomiting or other side effects before starting treatment with this medicine.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines may affect how clofarabine works. Tell your doctor if you are using blood pressure medicines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. Female patients should use an effective form of birth control during treatment with this medicine and for at least 6 months after your last dose. Male patients with female partners should use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose.
  • Do not breastfeed during treatment with this medicine and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, bleeding problems, or had a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT).
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Increase risk of infection
    • Capillary leak syndrome or systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)
    • High uric acid levels or tumor lysis syndrome
    • Serious liver or kidney problems
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • This medicine could cause infertility. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, sometimes even after you receive medicine to prevent these effects. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control any side effects that might happen.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Blue lips and fingernails, increased sweating, pale skin
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, rapid weight gain, swelling of your hands, ankles, feet, or face
  • Chest tightness, trouble breathing, rapid shallow breathing
  • Dark urine or pale stools, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Red or brown urine
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Nosebleeds, bleeding from your gums
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
  • Small red spots under your skin
  • Warmth or redness of your face, neck, arm, or upper chest

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 3/19/2020

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