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Cladribine

Important Information for Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving this medication if you have:
 
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • Plans to receive a vaccination
  • An infection of any kind
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
 
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 

Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Cladribine to learn more, including information on who should not receive the drug.)
 

How Does This Medicine Work?

Cladribine belongs to a general group of medicines known as purine analogs. It is similar in structure to purine, a naturally occurring substance that helps make up the structure of DNA. Cladribine passes into cells, where it is incorporated into the DNA of the cells.
 
The drug works by preventing the DNA from replicating, which is necessary for cancer cells to divide. It also interferes with the ability of DNA to repair itself when damaged. These actions can slow down the growth of cancer cells, or even cause the cancer cells to die.
 

Clinical Effects of Cladribine

Cladribine has been studied in clinical trials that included people with hairy cell leukemia who were having symptoms and required treatment. In these studies, 88 percent of people given a 7-day course of cladribine responded to the medication. People were considered to have responded if the number of leukemia cells decreased and their blood cell counts returned to normal.
 
In addition, 66 percent of people were said to have a complete response, meaning leukemia cells were no longer detectable in their blood and bone marrow, and their blood cell counts had returned to normal.
 
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Cladribine Drug Information

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