Fludarabine

Brand Names

Fludara (There may be other brand names for this medication)

How is it Administered?

This medicine is given by injection into a vein (IV or intravenous).

What is it Used For?

This drug may be used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), other types of leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and other cancers.

How Does it Work?

Cancer is a group of diseases in which abnormal cells reproduce uncontrollably. Your chemo schedule is based upon the type of cancer you have, how fast the cancer cells reproduce, and the times when each drug is the most likely to be effective. This is why chemotherapy is typically given in cycles.

Fludarabine is in a class of drugs known as antimetabolites; drugs that interrupt the cell cycle. After fludarabine enters your body, it is changed so it can enter your cells. Inside the cells, it becomes active. It stops the cells from reproducing and the cells die.

The faster cells reproduce, the more likely it is that chemo will damage or kill them. Unfortunately, normal cells that naturally reproduce quickly are also affected.    These normal cells will eventually grow back and be healthy. During treatment, however, you may experience side effects involving the digestive tract (mouth, stomach, and intestines), hair follicles, and blood cells.

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