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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before I receive fludarabine (Fludara)?
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).
To make sure you can safely take fludarabine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use fludarabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.
Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving 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.
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 receiving fludarabine.
How is fludarabine given (Fludara)?
Fludarabine is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Fludarabine must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take about 30 minutes to complete.
Fludarabine is usually given 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 can be harmful if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If skin contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water or rinse the eyes thoroughly with plain water.
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. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.
If you need to have a blood transfusion, tell your caregivers ahead of time that you are being treated with fludarabine.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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