Drug information provided by: Merative, Micromedex®
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.
Your doctor will give you a pregnancy test before the start of each treatment course of this medicine. Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Birth control pills may not work as well to prevent pregnancy when used with this medicine. Use another form of birth control (eg, condoms, spermicide) along with your pills during treatment and for at least 4 weeks after the last dose in each treatment course. Men should use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for at least 6 months after the last dose in each treatment course to prevent pregnancy in a sexual partner. If a pregnancy occurs while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Using this medicine may increase your risk of getting cancer. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
Cladribine can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, which will increase the risk of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, these are precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor right away if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
Check with your doctor right away if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
You will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis (TB) before you start this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive TB skin test or been exposed to TB.
This medicine may increase your risk of developing infections, including a serious brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Check with your doctor if you have weakness on one side of the body, clumsiness, blurred vision, changes in thinking, memory problems, confusion, or personality changes.
While you are being treated with cladribine, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. You may receive live or live-attenuated vaccines at least 4 weeks to 6 weeks before starting this medicine. Cladribine may lower your body's resistance and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent. In addition, other persons living in your household should not take oral polio vaccine since there is a chance they could pass the polio virus on to you. Also, avoid persons who have taken oral polio vaccine within the last several months. Do not get close to them, and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you cannot take these precautions, you should consider wearing a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth.
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after using this medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms: chest pain, decreased urine output, dilated neck veins, extreme fatigue, irregular breathing, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs, tightness in the chest, trouble breathing, or weight gain. These may be signs of a heart condition called heart failure.
This medicine may cause blood transfusion problems (eg, transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease). Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.