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Chlorambucil is available as a pill you can swallow. It is usually given in one of two ways: daily in low doses, or every 2 to 4 weeks in higher doses.
How It Works
Chlorambucil is classified as an alkylating agent. It kills cells
by interfering with the way they multiply.
Why It Is Used
Chlorambucil is used to treat
chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and some lymphomas, such as Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is one of the most commonly used treatments for
How Well It Works
Chlorambucil is an effective treatment for CLL.1
Side effects of chlorambucil are common, generally mild, and
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Loss of
- Cough or shortness of breath.
- Skin rash,
which may itch.
- Mouth sores
- Changes in the way foods taste.
- Low blood
counts, which may make you tired and more likely to get an infection.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Chlorambucil should be used only under the supervision of a
medical oncologist or
You may not be able to become pregnant or father a child after
taking chlorambucil. Discuss this with your doctor before starting treatment
with this drug.
Chlorambucil can cause birth defects. Do not use it if you are
pregnant or wish to become pregnant or to father a child while you are taking
Women who take this drug may experience symptoms of menopause,
including hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Johnston JB, et al. (2009). Chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In JP Greer et al., eds., Wintrobe's Clinical Hematology, 12th ed., vol. 2, pp. 2214-2255. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.