Chlorambucil is a potent drug used in the treatment of some types of cancer. It is also used as an immunosuppressant in some conditions where this is desired.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- An immunosuppressive agent
- Given by mouth
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING:
- Used in the treatment of certain types of cancer in dogs and cats (ex. lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer, lymphoma)
- Used in immune mediated conditions where an immunosuppressant drug can be helpful (ex. pemphigus, inflammatory bowel disease, feline infectious peritonitis, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia)
WHAT DOGS/CATS SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION?
- Pregnant pets
- Pets with pre-existing bone marrow suppression, those already immune suppressed (ex. FIV positive cats), or those with chronic infections
- Fertility can be affected permanently in young pets
- If your pet has had an allergic reaction to chlorambucil or like products
Read and follow the label carefully. Wear gloves when handling this medication.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed.
As an immunosuppressant: It is usually given once a day or once every other day.
As a cancer drug: It is usually given once a day or once every other day or every 2-3 weeks.
Give this medication for as long as veterinarian directs. Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian.
Baseline blood work to assess your pet's health before starting this drug is recommended. Periodic blood work to monitor its effect is also advised if long-term therapy is necessary.
Call ahead for refills.
WHAT IF A DOSE IS MISSED?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in the refrigerator.
Wear gloves while handling this medication as it can cause side effects in humans. Pregnant women should not handle this drug.
Children may be attracted to the sugar-coating on the pill's exterior. Be sure to keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
For 48 hours after each dose, avoid all contact with your pet's urine, feces, saliva or vomitus. Waste should be disposed of in a sealed plastic bag.
Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS:
- One or two weeks after starting therapy, if you notice bruising, bleeding, lethargy, infection or if your pet has difficulty breathing, it may be due to anemia or a bleeding disorder (a side effect due to bone marrow suppression). Notify your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs.
- Poodles, Kerry Blues and other breeds may lose their hair. Delayed hair re-growth from shaved areas is possible.
- Possible GI effects and skin rash
- Liver failure, respiratory problems and gout have been reported
- If these symptoms persist or you notice anything else unusual, contact your veterinarian
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- Yes, but possible interactions may occur with allopurinol, amphotericin B, azathioprine, chloramphenicol, colchicine, corticosteroids or cyclophosphamide
- If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet receives more than the prescribed amount.
WHAT TO TELL/ASK VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING MEDICATION?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
- When will your pet need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- What are the risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
- If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, chlorambucil should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
This is just a summary of information about chlorambucil. If you have any questions or concerns about chlorambucil or the condition it was prescribed for, contact your veterinarian.
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