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Clinical Effects of Pentostatin

Pentostatin has been studied in trials that included people with hairy cell leukemia who were having symptoms and required treatment. In these studies, up to 85 percent of people were considered to have a complete response to the drug, which means leukemia cells were no longer detectable in their blood and bone marrow and their blood cell counts had returned to normal. It took about 4.2 to 6.6 months for people to achieve a complete response to treatment.

When and How to Use This Medicine

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with pentostatin include the following:
  • This medication comes as a powder that is mixed with liquid and given as an injection into a vein (an intravenous, or IV, injection). It is usually given once every other week.
  • Pentostatin injections are normally given by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or clinic.
  • The injection may be given quickly, over about 5 minutes, or more slowly over 20 to 30 minutes. Your healthcare provider will decide how you will receive the medication.
  • You will receive hydration with IV liquids before and after your dose. This is to reduce the chance that you will develop kidney problems from pentostatin.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. It is important to keep your appointments to receive your pentostatin doses.

Dosing Information for Pentostatin

The dose of pentostatin your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a few factors, such as:
  • Your height and weight
  • How you tolerate the medication
  • How you respond to pentostatin
  • Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
(Click Pentostatin Dosage for more information.)
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Pentostatin Drug Information

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