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Generic Name

  • Fludarabine.

Brand Names

  • Fludara.

General Information

Fludarabine is in a class of drugs known as purine analogs; it slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have. Fludarabine interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by fludarabine, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects may not be serious but may cause concern. Fludarabine is used in various combinations with cyclophosphamide, mitoxantrone, dexamethasone and rituximab in the treatment of indolent non-Hodgkins lymphomas. It is not known whether fludarabine passes into breast milk. However, because this medicine may cause serious side effects, breast-feeding is not recommended while you are receiving it. Fludarabine can cause birth defects. Do not use this medication if you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or father a child while you are taking it. Serious side effects have been reported with the use of fludarabine including: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing, closing of the throat, swelling of the lips, tongue, or hives), decreased bone marrow function and blood problems. Fludarabine is a purine analog, and can be given both orally and intravenously.

Fludarabine Dosage

  • The dose of fludarabine will be different for different patients.
  • The dose that is used may depend on a number of things, including what the medicine is being used for, the patient's size, and whether or not other medicines are also being taken.

Side Effects of Fludarabine

Some common side effects reported with this medicine include:

  • Arm, back or jaw pain.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Chest tightness or heaviness.
  • Difficult urination.
  • Headache.
  • Blood in urine or stools.
  • Rash or itching.
  • Shortness of breath.

Warnings and precautions before taking Fludarabine

  • Do not take fludarabine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to fludarabine.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages or take medications containing aspirin while being treated with fludarabine, because these can cause bleeding from your stomach.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
  • Do not use this medication if you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or father a child while you are taking it.
  • Do not have any vaccinations (e.g., measles or flu shots) without talking to your doctor.


  • If for any reason an overdose of fludarabine is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Symptoms of a fludarabine overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe.
  • In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.



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