What is CLADRIBINE?
(CLADRIBINE) Cladribine is used to treat a certain type of cancer (hairy cell leukemia). It works by stopping the growth of cancer cells.
How should I use CLADRIBINE?
This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. This medication is given as directed by your doctor, usually continuously for 7 days in a row. The dosage is based on your weight and response to treatment. Avoid getting the medication on the skin or in the eyes, mouth, or nose. If you do get the medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water and tell your doctor right away.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take CLADRIBINE?
Before using cladribine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, nerve/muscle disorder, blood/bone marrow disorder, recent/current infections. This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Tell your health care professional that you are using cladribine before having any immunizations/vaccinations. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose). Cladribine can make you more likely to get infections or may make current infections worse. Stay away from anyone who has an infection that may easily spread (such as chickenpox, COVID-19, measles, flu). Talk to your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details. To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using cladribine. Cladribine may harm an unborn baby. Ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breastfeeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
What may interact with CLADRIBINE?
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: other drugs that weaken the immune system/increase the risk of infection (such as cyclosporine, natalizumab, rituximab, drugs to treat cancer like irinotecan), other drugs that worsen kidney problems (including NSAIDs such as ibuprofen).
What should I watch for while using CLADRIBINE?
This medication may cause very serious blood disorders (decreased bone marrow function leading to low number of blood cells such as white cells, red cells, and platelets). This effect can weaken the immune system/increase the risk of infection, cause anemia, or cause your body to bruise or bleed easier. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following: signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever), easy bruising/bleeding, unusual tiredness, fast/pounding heartbeat. When used in high doses, cladribine may cause very serious kidney or nerve problems. Nerve problems may also rarely occur in patients taking the normal dose of cladribine. Get medical help right away if you develop any of the following: change in the amount of urine, weakness/numbness/tingling in your hands/feet, or inability to move your arms/legs. Cladribine may increase your risk of getting a rare but very serious (possibly fatal) brain infection (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy-PML). Get medical help right away if you have any of these side effects: clumsiness, loss of coordination/balance, weakness, sudden change in your thinking (such as confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss), difficulty talking, seizures, or sudden vision changes. See also Side Effects section.
What if I miss a dose of CLADRIBINE?
It is important to get each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist right away for a new dosing schedule.
What side effects may I notice from receiving CLADRIBINE?
See also Warning section. Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, cough, diarrhea, joint/muscle pain, trouble sleeping, stomach/abdominal pain, constipation, or pain/swelling/redness at injection site may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, you have been prescribed this drug because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: pain/swelling/redness of arms or legs, shortness of breath. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. Cladribine can commonly cause a mild rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe allergic reaction. Get medical help right away if you develop any rash. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Where should I keep CLADRIBINE?
Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.