Busulfex, Myleran, |Myleran Myleran

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Generic Name: busulfan (byoo SULL fan)
Brand Names: Busulfex, Myleran

What is busulfan?

Busulfan is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. Busulfan interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Busulfan is used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (a type of blood cancer).

Busulfan may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about busulfan?

Busulfan should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Serious side effects have been reported with the use of busulfan including: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); unusual bleeding or bruising; fever or chills; persistent cough; congestion; shortness of breath; flank, stomach or joint pain; sudden weakness; unusual fatigue; decreased appetite or weight loss; infertility; pronounced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, confusion, or darkening of the skin; secondary cancers, pulmonary fibrosis (a lung disorder), and others. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with busulfan.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking busulfan?

Before taking busulfan, tell your doctor if you have

  • bone marrow problems;

  • a history of lung or breathing problems; or

  • a seizure disorder.

You may not be able to take busulfan, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Busulfan is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that busulfan is known to cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Busulfan may also affect egg production in women and sperm production in men. Do not take busulfan without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Contraceptive measures are recommended during treatment with busulfan. It is not known whether busulfan passes into breast milk. Do not take busulfan without first talking to your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.

How should I take busulfan?

Take oral busulfan exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to explain them to you.

Take each oral dose with a large glass of water.

Take busulfan tablets at the same time each day.

Taking busulfan on an empty stomach is preferable. Continue to take busulfan even if nausea and vomiting occurs. Do not stop taking the medicine without first talking to your doctor. Check with your doctor if vomiting occurs shortly after taking a dose of busulfan. Your doctor may want you to take another dose, but do not do this without checking with your doctor first.

Injectable busulfan should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with busulfan depending upon the type of cancer being treated and other factors. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.

Adequate hydration is important during treatment with busulfan. Your doctor may prescribe the administration of intravenous fluids and/or recommend additional fluid intake by mouth during treatment.

Your doctor will probably want you to have regularly scheduled blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with busulfan to monitor progress and side effects.

Store busulfan tablets at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Keep this product out of the reach of children.

Your healthcare provider will store busulfan injection as directed by the manufacturer. If you are storing busulfan injection at home, follow the directions provided by your healthcare provider.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of busulfan.

What happens if I overdose?

If for any reason an overdose of busulfan is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Symptoms of a busulfan overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe.

What should I avoid while taking busulfan?

Busulfan can lower the activity of your immune system making you susceptible to infections. Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses and do not receive vaccines that contain live strains of a virus (e.g., live oral polio vaccine) during treatment with busulfan. In addition, avoid contact with individuals who have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus can be passed on to you.

Skin accidentally exposed to busulfan injection should be rinsed thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Busulfan side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of the throat; difficulty breathing; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue; or hives);

  • unusual bleeding or bruising;

  • fever or chills;

  • sudden weakness or unusual fatigue;

  • persistent cough, congestion, or shortness of breath;

  • flank, stomach or joint pain;

  • decreased appetite or weight loss; or

  • pronounced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, confusion, or darkening of the skin.

In some cases, secondary cancers have been reported to occur during and following treatment with busulfan. Also, busulfan has been associated with development of pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disorder which may be fatal. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.

Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience

  • dryness of the mouth, nose, and throat;

  • mouth sores;

  • stopping of normal menstruation and beginning symptoms of menopause;

  • infertility;

  • temporary hair loss;

  • itching and rash; or

  • changes in skin color.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect busulfan?

Before taking busulfan, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • acetaminophen (Tylenol, others);

  • cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar);

  • itraconazole (Sporanox);

  • phenytoin (Dilantin); or

  • metronidazole (Flagyl).

You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Do not receive "live" vaccines during treatment with busulfan. Administration of a live vaccine may be dangerous during treatment with busulfan.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with busulfan. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, during treatment with busulfan.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about busulfan written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Busulfan is available with a prescription under the brand name Myleran for tablets and Busulfex for injection. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Myleran 2 mg-round, white tablets

  • Busulfex 6mg/mL -10 mL ampules for injection

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ("Multum") is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum"s drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum"s drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 4/1/05 4:48:40 PM.

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