Chlorambucil, trade name Leukeran®, is an immunosuppressant that is commonly prescribed by veterinarians to treat dogs and cats that are suffering from immune-mediated disorders and cancers, such as lymphoma and leukemia. The drug also has antineoplastic properties that make it effective for ridding the pet’s body of unhealthy cellular growths in the blood and lymphatic systems.
Treating Canines and Felines With Chlorambucil
If you have a pet that was prescribed Chlorambucil, then you need to take precautions when handling this medication. When administering the medication to your cat or dog, you should be sure to wear gloves.
The successful outcome of your pet’s treatment is dependent upon your commitment and ability to administer this medication properly. As a result, it is very important to not miss doses. Should you inadvertently miss a dose, it is important to give your pet a dose immediately upon remembering, unless it is within a few hours of the next scheduled dose. If this is the case, then restart the dose at the next scheduled administration time. Do not double up on this medication, as amounts greater than the prescribed dosage can be toxic to your pet.
The usual dosage for Chlorambucil is once every day or every other day when suppressing the immune system. In cases where the drug is prescribed to treat cancer, the dosage is usually administered every day, or every day for a period of two to three weeks.
Precautions and Side Effects of Chlorambucil
Chlorambucil can produce a number of different side effects. The most common of these side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, loss of hair (with delayed re-growth), tremors, seizures, and liver and kidney enzyme imbalances. Other, more serious side effects are also possible, including bone marrow suppression, anemia, gastro-intestinal tract damage, kidney disease, lung disease, kidney damage, liver damage, and irreversible infertility in males.
If the pet exhibits symptoms such as swelling of the face, worsening skin rash, hives, vomiting, or difficulty breathing, then it may be experiencing an allergic reaction to the drug and your veterinarian should be contacted immediately. In addition, if your pet experiences bruising or bleeding while taking Chlorambucil, inform your veterinarian immediately.
Chlorambucil should be administered with extreme care in cases where the patient has an existing infection or bone marrow depression. This medication should not be administered to pregnant or lactating females due to increased risk for birth defects, or to males that are intended for breeding.
In addition, your veterinarian should be notified if your pet is taking another antineoplastic, a bone marrow suppressant, a corticosteroid, an immunosuppressive, a protein-bound medication, or Amphotericin-B as these medications can cause reactions with Chlorambucil.
Dosage and Administration
The dosage and method of administration for Chlorambucil can only be determined by the animal’s treating veterinarian. It is very important to keep the medication out of reach of children. Additionally, you should avoid contact with your pet’s urine, feces, saliva, or vomit for 48 hours after each dose.
Author: Giano Panzarella