Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Anemia: Clofarabine may cause low levels of red blood cells. If you experience symptoms of reduced red blood cell count (anemia) such as shortness of breath, feeling unusually tired or pale skin, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of specific types of blood cells, including red blood cells, in your blood.
Bleeding: Clofarabine may cause a reduced number of platelets in the blood, which can make it difficult to stop cuts from bleeding. If you notice any signs of bleeding, such as frequent nosebleeds, unexplained bruising, or black and tarry stools, notify your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will order routine blood tests to make sure potential problems are caught early.
Dehydration: Clofarabine may cause vomiting and diarrhea, just like other cancer medications. In some circumstances, dehydration may develop. Check with your doctor if you experience decreased urine production, fainting spells, lightheadedness or severe dizziness.
Infection: As well as killing cancer cells, clofarabine can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). If possible, avoid contact with people with contagious infections and areas with lots of people. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness. Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of specific types of blood cells in your blood.
Kidney function: If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
Clofarabine may reduce liver function and can cause liver failure. If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome: This is a result of the body's natural defenses being over-stimulated, causing a release of cytokines, natural chemicals that work to protect the body. These chemicals cause inflammation throughout the body which can cause serious harm to the liver, kidney and other organs, and may be fatal if not treated quickly. Symptoms of this syndrome include rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, difficulty breathing, very high or very low body temperature and low blood pressure. If you or your child experiences these symptoms, get immediate medical attention.
Tumour lysis syndrome: When large numbers of cancer cells are destroyed quickly, the body has difficulty getting rid of them. This can lead to a temporary, but possibly deadly set of symptoms referred to as tumour lysis syndrome. Your doctor will prescribe some medications to help your body manage this overload, however symptoms are still possible. If you experience or notice any of the following in your child, contact the doctor immediately. Symptoms of tumour lysis syndrome include: rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, dizziness or lightheadedness, joint pain or decrease in urination.
Pregnancy: There is a possibility of birth defects if clofarabine is used during pregnancy. Effective birth control should be practiced while using this medication as this medication may harm the baby if used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if clofarabine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Adults and seniors: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for individuals over 21 years of age.