What condition does Cladribine treat?

Cladribine is used for the treatment of hairy cell leukemia and lymphocytic leukemia. Hairy cell leukemia is a slow-growing cancer of the blood in which your bone marrow makes too many B cells. The excess B cells are abnormal and look hairy under a microscope. Lymphocytic leukemia is a type of cancer wherein the bone marrow creates too many lymphocytes. It is a blood and bone marrow disease.

This prescription may also be used for the treatment of other conditions such as:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas
  • Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia
  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis

Cladribine is a synthetic antineoplastic agent for continuous intravenous infusion. This is a chemotherapy drug known as a 2-Chloro-2-deoxyadenosine. This prescription is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cladribine helps to kill the abnormal blood cells that cause a certain disease.

How does Cladribine work?

Cladribine works by stopping the abnormal blood cells from multiplying. It does this by inhibiting the production of the cell’s genetic material, RNA, and DNA. Both RNA and DNA are needed for the growth and multiplication of cells. Cladribine causes a deficiency of RNA and DNA in cancerous cells. It causes them to grow in an unbalanced way resulting in the death of the cells.

What is the recommended dosage for Cladribine?

This medication is given by injection into a vein by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, weight, and response.

  • Cladribine is usually given continuously for 7 days in a row or as directed by your doctor for hairy cell leukemia.
  • For the treatment of Lymphocytic leukemia, this is given every day for the first five days of a 28 days cycle.

Clean the injection site first with rubbing alcohol. To lessen the injury, change the injection site each time. You must take this medication exactly as it is prescribed. Remember to use this at the same time every day or as directed by your doctor. It is important to inform your health care provider if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.

What are the side effects of Cladribine?

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Constipation
  • Injection site reactions such as swelling, pain, redness, or irritation

What are the precautions in taking Cladribine?

  • Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease before using this medication.
  • Make sure to inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking (vitamins, herbal remedies, or prescription).
  • Do not breastfeed while taking this medication.
  • Do not use this medication if you are pregnant. Both men and women must use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine, and for 6 months after the last dosage.
  • You should not receive any immunizations or vaccinations while taking Cladribine without the permission of your doctor.
  • Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
  • Cladribine can have long-lasting effects on your body. Your doctor will need to check your progress regularly and for another 2 years after your last dose.