Leustatin Overdose

Although an overdose on Leustatin (cladribine) is unlikely to occur, receiving too much of this drug may cause nerve damage, kidney damage, or other potentially serious reactions. However, the specific effects that occur would depend on how much of the drug was given and whether it was combined with any other substance. Treatment options for this type of overdose will mainly involve supportive care.

Can You Receive Too Much Leustatin?

Leustatin® (cladribine) is a prescription anticancer medication used in the treatment of hairy cell leukemia, a slow-growing cancer of the blood cells. Because Leustatin is given by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting, an intentional overdose is unlikely to occur. However, as with most medications, there is a possibility that an unintentional overdose could occur if too much Leustatin is given.
The specific effects of an overdose would vary, depending on a number of factors, such as the Leustatin dosage and whether it was combined with any other medications or substances.

Effects of an Overdose

Based on side effects reported with high doses of Leustatin, possible symptoms of a Leustatin overdose may include but are not limited to:
  • Nerve damage, which may not be reversible and could lead to muscle weakness and partial paralysis
  • Kidney damage
  • Low white blood cell counts, which could increase the risk for infections
  • Low red blood cell counts (anemia)
  • Low platelet counts, which could increase the risk for abnormal bleeding.

Treatment Options for a Leustatin Overdose

There is no known antidote for an overdose with Leustatin. It is unknown whether dialysis is useful for removing the drug from the body.
Treatment will mostly involve supportive care, which consists of treating the symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose. For example, supportive treatment for a Leustatin overdose may include:
  • Close monitoring of blood cell counts
  • Intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Antibiotics to treat infections
  • A blood transfusion to help restore blood cell counts to normal levels.
Seek immediate medical attention if you believe you or someone else may have received too much of this medicine.
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