People who receive busulfan will be given a dosage based on their weight, response to the medicine, other medications they are taking, and a number of other factors. This prescription chemotherapy drug comes as a tablet that is taken once a day, until blood cell counts return to normal. Busulfan tablets can also be made into a liquid form for people who have problems swallowing tablets.
The dosage of busulfan (Myleran®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Your weight and possibly your height
- How you respond to and tolerate the medication
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you are taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
Recommended Busulfan Dosing Guidelines
The usual recommended dose of busulfan for causing remission of chronic myelogenous leukemia in adults is between 4 mg and 8 mg a day. Your healthcare provider may choose to calculate your actual amount based on your body weight. The usual dose of busulfan based on weight in adults and children is 60 micrograms (mcg) per kg of body weight (about 27.27 mcg per lb).
Busulfan doses may also be calculated based on body surface area, which is normally calculated using your height and weight. The amount based on body surface area in adults and children is usually 1.8 mg per m2 of body surface.
Many people will take busulfan daily until their leukemia is in hematologic remission, which means white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets have returned to normal levels, and the number of leukemia cells has decreased. Your healthcare provider will check your white blood cell counts with routine blood tests. Once your white blood cell counts have declined to a level that is close to normal, which normally takes 12 to 20 weeks, your healthcare provider may determine you are in remission and recommend a break in treatment.
Your blood cell counts will be monitored about once a month during the break in treatment. Treatment may begin again when your white blood cell counts increase, indicating you are no longer in remission. If your remission lasts less than three months, your healthcare provider may recommend you begin busulfan maintenance therapy to help keep your blood cell counts under control and keep your leukemia in remission longer.
During maintenance treatment, you take busulfan every day, without a break in treatment. Maintenance doses may be adjusted based on your white blood cell counts, and may range anywhere from 1 to 4 mg a day to 2 mg once a week.