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Clofarabine
Specialty Drug

Clolar

CLOFARABINE is a chemotherapy drug. It reduces the growth of cancer cells and can suppress the immune system. It is used for treating leukemia. Compare nucleoside metabolic inhibitors.
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What is Clofarabine?

Therapeutic ClassificationsAntineoplastic Agent

Pharmacologic ClassificationsAntimetabolite

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OverviewTOP

Clofarabine injection is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the white blood cells, in patients who have already used at least 2 other cancer medicines.

Clofarabine is an antineoplastic (cancer) medicine. It interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed by the body. Since the growth of normal cells may also be affected by clofarabine, other unwanted effects can occur. Before you begin treatment, talk to your doctor about the benefits of this medicine as well as the possible risks of using it.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

Proper UseTOP

You will receive this medicine while you or your child are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A doctor or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

While you are receiving clofarabine, it is important that you drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine. This will help prevent unwanted effects on the kidney.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

AllergiesTOP

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

PediatricTOP

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of clofarabine injection in children 1 year of age and older.

GeriatricTOP

Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of clofarabine injection have not been performed in the geriatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established in elderly patients 65 years of age.

PregnancyTOP

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersDStudies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breast FeedingTOP

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Adenovirus Vaccine
  • Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live
  • Cholera Vaccine, Live
  • Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Live
  • Smallpox Vaccine
  • Typhoid Vaccine
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Anemia (low red blood cells) or
  • Bleeding problems (eg, hemorrhage) or
  • Infection (eg, bacteria, fungus, virus) or
  • Liver disease or
  • Neutropenia (low white blood cells) or
  • Thrombocytopenia (low platelets in the blood)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

PrecautionsTOP

It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Clofarabine can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

  • If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you have fever or chills, a cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
  • Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
  • Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail and toenail cutters.
  • Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.

This medicine may cause a serious type of reaction called the tumor lysis syndrome. This syndrome may cause you to have high amounts of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia). Your doctor may give you a medicine to help prevent this. Call your doctor right away if you have a decrease or change in urine amount, joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, lower back, side, or stomach pain, rapid weight gain, swelling of the feet or lower legs, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Call your doctor right away if you have dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, a fast or irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, or swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs. These may be symptoms of rare but serious conditions called capillary leak syndrome or systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS).

Check with your doctor right away if you have stomach pain, pale stools, or dark urine, a loss of appetite, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

This medicine may cause acute kidney failure. Tell your doctor right away if you have decrease in how much or how often you urinate, confusion, dizziness, headache, rapid weight gain, seizures, or swelling of your hands, ankles, or feet after receiving this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Chemical ClassificationsTOP

Purine Nucleoside Analog
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