Cancer Home > Cladribine Side Effects

It is common for people who receive cladribine to develop some type of side effect during treatment with the medicine. Some of the most commonly reported reactions include nausea, fatigue, and a skin rash. There are also potentially serious problems, such as numbness or purple spots on your skin, which should be reported to your healthcare provider right away.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Cladribine

As with any chemotherapy medicine, cladribine (Leustatin®) can cause side effects. In fact, most people will experience some type of reaction to this drug, and some side effects can be quite significant. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this medicine.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with cladribine. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Cladribine Side Effects

Some side effects of cladribine are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling, especially of the mouth, lips, or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Signs of infection, such as:
  • Signs of anemia, such as:
    • Unusual tiredness
    • Weakness
    • Pale skin
    • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Small reddish or purple blood spots on your skin
  • Pain, redness, swelling, or bleeding at the site where the medication is injected
  • Numbness, tingling, or pricking sensations
  • Muscle weakness
  • Decrease in the amount you normally urinate.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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