Fludara Uses

A healthcare provider may prescribe Fludara to treat a certain type of cancer called B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Fludara is used after other treatments have not been successful at controlling the cancer. The drug works by interfering with the way cancer cells grow and multiply. There are also some off-label uses, such as treating non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia.

What Is Fludara Used For?

Fludara® (fludarabine phosphate) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in adults who have not responded adequately to other treatment, or whose condition has progressed during other treatment. It belongs to a group of medicines known as purine analogs.
 

Using Fludara for the Treatment of CLL

Leukemia is a cancer that occurs when the bone marrow (the blood cell-producing middle part of certain bones) makes abnormal blood cells that grow out of control. These abnormal blood cells are called leukemia cells. There are several different types of leukemia, which are generally grouped by how quickly the disease develops and becomes worse (chronic versus acute) and which blood cells are affected (lymphoid versus myeloid).
 
(Click on Types of Leukemia for information on other types of leukemia.)
 
B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (also called chronic lymphocytic leukemia or chronic lymphatic leukemia) is a slow-developing leukemia that affects a certain type of white blood cell known as B-lymphocytes. This particular type of leukemia is most likely to affect adults; it rarely occurs in children.
 
In CLL, the abnormal lymphocytes do not function properly and are not effective at fighting off infections. Over time, as the leukemia cells increase in numbers, they can crowd out normal, healthy blood cells. This can lead to various problems associated with leukemia, such as bleeding, anemia, and infections.
 
In addition, like all blood cells, leukemia cells travel through the body. Depending on the number of abnormal cells and where these cells collect, people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia may have a number of symptoms. Some of the common CLL symptoms include:
 
  • Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, abdomen (stomach), or groin
  • Tiredness
  • Pain or fullness below the ribs
  • Infection and fever
  • Unexplained weight loss.
 
There are several different treatment options for someone with CLL (see Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment). Fludara is a type of chemotherapy. It is used after other treatments have been tried, but were unsuccessful in adequately treating the leukemia.
 
More specifically, Fludara is approved for use in people who were previously treated with a medication regimen that included an alkylating agent. Examples of alkylating agents approved to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia include:
   
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Fludara Chemotherapy Information

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