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Leustatin Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Cladribine Novaplus, Leustatin

Generic Name: cladribine (Pronunciation: KLAD ri been)

What is cladribine (Leustatin)?

Cladribine is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Cladribine is used to treat hairy cell leukemia (a type of blood cancer).

Cladribine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of cladribine (Leustatin)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • numbness, tingling, weakness, or burning pain in your fingers or toes;
  • numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • redness, swelling, or itching under your skin;
  • lower back pain, blood in your urine, urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction, overactive reflexes;
  • fast or slow heart rate, weak pulse, feeling short of breath;
  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin; or
  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, cough with yellow or green mucus, loss of appetite, mouth sores, unusual weakness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, tired feeling;
  • nausea, diarrhea, constipation;
  • mild itching or skin rash;
  • cough; or
  • pain, swelling, or irritation around the IV needle.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Leustatin (cladribine injection for intravenous infusion only) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about cladribine (Leustatin)?

Do not use cladribine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Before you receive cladribine, tell your doctor If you have liver or kidney disease or a bone marrow problem.

Cladribine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using cladribine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as numbness or tingling, weakness or burning pain in your fingers or toes, lower back pain, blood in your urine, urinating less than usual, muscle weakness or tightness, pale or yellowed skin, easy bruising or bleeding, dark colored urine, or feeling like you might pass out.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.