Chlorambucil, also known as Leukeran, is a chemotherapy drug used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Hodgkin lymphoma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is the preferred treatment for CLL. It is administered orally.
Bone marrow suppression is a common side effect.
Other long-term severe side effects include increased cancer risk, infertility, and allergic reactions.
When used during pregnancy, it frequently causes harm to the baby. Chlorambucil is a medication in the alkylating agent class. It functions by preventing the formation of DNA and RNA.
In the United States, chlorambucil was approved for medical use in 1957. It is on the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines List. Initially, it was made from nitrogen mustard.
Chlorambucil is currently used primarily in chronic lymphocytic leukemia because most patients tolerate it well. However, fludarabine has largely replaced it as a first-line treatment in younger patients.
Some types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Waldenström macroglobulinemia, polycythemia vera, trophoblastic neoplasms, and ovarian carcinoma, can be treated with it. It has also been used as an immunosuppressive drug for various autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, including the nephrotic syndrome.
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