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Fludarabine

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)
  • Severe bone marrow depression (extremely low counts of white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets)
  • A condition that causes a weakened immune system
  • A history of infections because your immune system was weak
  • Received previous chemotherapy or radiation treatment
  • Plans to receive a vaccination
  • Had an autoimmune reaction in which the immune system attacks the body's blood cells, such as:
    • Hemolytic anemia
    • Autoimmune thrombocytopenia
    • Evans syndrome
    • Acquired hemophilia
 
  • Plans to have surgery
  • 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 Fludarabine to learn more, including information on who should not receive the drug.)
 

How Does It Work?

Fludarabine works by blocking the action of certain naturally occurring enzymes that are necessary for DNA to make a copy of itself (known as DNA replication). Because DNA replication is necessary for cells to divide, fludarabine slows down the growth of cancer cells and causes the cancer cells to die.
 
Fludarabine is not itself active against cancer cells. Instead, the body rapidly converts the medication into an active form within minutes after each dose is given.
 
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