Leukemia Home > Leukeran

If you have a certain type of blood cell cancer, your healthcare provider may prescribe Leukeran. This medication is approved specifically for use in people who have chronic lymphocytic leukemia or lymphoma. It comes as a tablet that is taken once daily. Some people may experience side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What Is Leukeran?

Leukeran® (chlorambucil) is a prescription chemotherapy medication approved to treat certain cancers of the blood cells, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia and lymphoma. Although it is not a cure for these cancers, Leukeran may help reduce symptoms.
 
(Click Leukeran Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes This Medication?

Leukeran is made by GlaxoSmithKline.
 

How Does Leukeran Work?

Leukeran belongs to a group of medicines known as alkylating agents. It works by interfering with DNA replication, a process which is necessary for cells to copy themselves and divide. This causes cell death. The medication also activates a protein that causes cell death by a process known as apoptosis.
 
While Leukeran can kill both healthy and cancerous cells, it has a greater effect on cells that are multiplying rapidly. Generally, cancer cells multiply more rapidly than healthy cells and are, therefore, more affected by Leukeran.
 

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Leukeran include the following:
 
  • Leukeran comes in the form of a tablet. It is normally taken by mouth once a day.
  • Try to take this medicine on an empty stomach, about one hour before or two hours after eating. Take it with food if it upsets your stomach.
  • Try to take your dose at the same time each day to keep an even level of the medicine in your bloodstream.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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