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Chlorambucil use

A nitrogen mustard alkylating agent used as antineoplastic agent for the treatment of various malignant and nonmalignant diseases. Although it is less toxic than most other nitrogen mustards, it has been listed as a known carcinogen in the Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP 85-002, 1985).

How it works

Chlorambucil belongs to a group of drugs called alkylating agents. It works by sticking to one of the other cancer cell's DNA strands. DNA is the genetic code that is in the heart of all animal and plant cells. It controls everything the cell does. The cell cannot then divide into 2 new cells.

How you have it

Chlorambucil is a tablet. You should swallow the tablets whole with plenty of water. Take them at least an hour before food or 3 hours after eating. Keep them in the fridge but away from food.

What Chlorambucil Is Used For:

Used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, breast, ovarian and testicular cancer, Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, thrombocythemia, choriocarcinoma.

How Chlorambucil Is Given:

Chlorambucil is given by mouth as a coated tablet.

Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.

The amount of chlorambucil you receive and how often it is administered, depends on many factors, including your height and weight, your general health, any other health problems you may have, and the type of cancer or condition being treated.  Your doctor will determine your dose and schedule.

When you have it

You usually have chemotherapy as a course of several cycles of treatment. Chlorambucil is sometimes given in combination with other chemotherapy drugs or in combination with steroids.

The treatment plan for chlorambucil depends on which cancer you have.

Tests during treatment

You have blood tests before starting treatment and during your treatment. They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. They also check how well your liver and kidneys are working.

Side Effects:

important things to remember about the side effects of chlorambucil:

  • Most people do not experience all of the side effects listed.
  • Side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset and duration.
  • Side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after treatment is complete.
  • There are many options to help minimize or prevent side effects.
  • There is no relationship between the presence or severity of side effects and the effectiveness of the medication.


Before taking chlorambucil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other alkylating agents (such as busulfan, cyclophosphamide); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: gout, bleeding/blood problems, liver disease.


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (such as prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

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