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What does it do?

Chlorambucil is used to treat some types of cancer and some kidney conditions.

How should you take it?

Take chlorambucil regularly as directed. Take with food and a glass of water. Swallow the tablets whole – do not break, crush or chew.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. echinacea) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Increased risk of infection - symptoms may include: fever, chills, sore throat, aches and pains, tiredness, pain when peeing, mouth ulcers

Easy/unusual bruising or bleeding

Seizures

Symptoms of liver problems including: yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, pale bowel motions, abdominal pain

Short of breath, persistent dry cough

Tell your doctor immediately

Tremor, tingling or numbness

Skin rash

Dizziness, pale skin

Tell your doctor

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have liver or blood problems; or if you have ever had a seizure.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a long-term infection e.g. tuberculosis, HIV or hepatitis B or C.
  • Both men and women should use reliable contraception while taking chlorambucil, and for 3 months after stopping. If you or your partner are planning to become pregnant, or find you are pregnant, discuss this with your doctor. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Chlorambucil can affect fertility in men and women – discuss with your doctor.
  • Store chlorambucil tablets in the fridge. Do not freeze.
  • You will need regular blood tests while taking chlorambucil to check if it is causing problems with your liver or blood.
  • You have an increased risk of getting an infection while taking chlorambucil. Discuss with your doctor.
  • Chlorambucil affects your immune system. Before you start and while you are using it, check with your doctor what vaccines you might need. You should not have a live vaccine while using it.
  • It is important to tell anyone who gives you medical or dental treatment that you are taking chlorambucil.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. September 2018

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed