Busulfan is available as a pill you can swallow. It is also
available in an
IV form, used for stem cell transplants.
How It Works
Busulfan is classified as an alkylating
agent. It kills cells by interfering with the way they multiply.
Why It Is Used
Busulfan is used to lower the number of blood cells in people who have diseases such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
How Well It Works
Busulfan may help to gradually lower the blood counts for older people who have chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) but who cannot take other medicines or who are unable to maintain close and frequent medical supervision.1
Side effects are common with busulfan and
- Thinning or brittleness of the
- Darkening and drying of the skin.
- Loss of
appetite or weight loss.
- Weakness and
- Mouth sores (stomatitis).
- Low blood counts, which may make you tired and more likely to get
an infection. Your blood counts may stay low for a long time.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Busulfan should be used only under
the supervision of a
medical oncologist or
not be able to become pregnant or father a child after taking busulfan. Talk to
your doctor about this before starting treatment.
cause birth defects. Do not use this drug if you are pregnant or wish to become
pregnant or father a child while you are taking it.
Women who take
this drug may experience symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Liesveld JL, Lichtman MA (2010). Chronic myelogenous leukemia and related disorders. In K Kaushanksy et al., eds., Williams Hematology, 8th ed., pp. 1331-1379. New York: McGraw-Hill.