Thursday, September 06, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Leukeran is only available as an oral tablet and it belongs to a class of drugs known as antineoplastic/anti-cancer drugs. The drug can’t cure cancer, but it can help relieve its symptoms.
Leukeran disrupts DNA replication in cells in the body. Cells may turn cancerous when their DNA reproduction goes out of control and disrupting this process can help eliminate cancer cells.
Leukeran is used to treat certain types of cancer of the blood and lymph nodes such as:
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Giant follicular lymphoma
- Hodgkin’s disease
Leukeran’s generic name is chlorambucil.
Known health risks or side effects of Leukeran
Leukeran may cause common side effects such as bone marrow suppression, which may involve bleeding, fever, and flu symptoms.
You may require immediate medical attention if you experience severe side effects such as:
- Easy bruising, purple or red pinpoint spots under the skin, or unusual bleeding (e.g., from the mouth, nose, rectum, or vagina)
- Liver problems – May include symptoms like appetite loss, clay-colored stools, dark-colored urine, fatigue, itching, jaundice/yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, or upper stomach pain.
- Low white blood cell counts – May include cold or flu symptoms, a cough, difficulty breathing, a fever, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, or swollen gums.
- A new or worsening cough
- An unusual mass or lump
- Severe diarrhea or vomiting
- Severe skin reaction – May include fever, a sore throat, swelling in the face or tongue, burning in the eyes, skin pain, then a red or purple skin rash that spreads (in the face or upper body) that results in blistering and peeling.
List of organs that might be affected by Leukeran
An overdose of Leukeran may cause the following complications:
- Problems with coordination or muscle control
- Severe decreases in blood cell counts that can cause anemia, bleeding, and infections
An overdose of the drug can also cause an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction may include difficulty breathing; hives; or the swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Food items or nutrients that have similar effects to Leukeran
The following foods or nutrients have similar effects to Leukeran and they can help make your body stronger:
- Fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables contain various antioxidants, minerals, phytochemicals, and vitamins that can help fight cancer cells. Sources include apples, bananas, berries, peaches, and strawberries. Steaming vegetables also help retain more nutrients.
- Protein – Patients with leukemia require protein because it can make you stronger. If you’re not in the mood for most proteins, consider blander foods like chicken or fish. Vegetarian protein sources include eggs, nuts, seeds, soy products (e.g., soy milk or tofu), and wheat or oat cereals.
- Probiotics – The stomach has healthy bacteria that let the body handle food properly. Feed these healthy bacteria, or probiotics, by eating yogurt with live active cultures or drinking kefir, a liquid yogurt with good bacteria.
- Whole grains – Eat 100 percent whole-wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and whole-grain cereal.
Treatment and management options for the side effects of Leukeran
The following treatments and management options can help prevent the side effects associated with Leukeran, such as low white blood cell counts:
- Astragalus – In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), astragalus root is used as an immune system tonic/booster. It can also boost interferon and leukocyte blood levels. Studies have confirmed that astragalus can help increase B-lymphocyte and T-lymphocyte levels, interleukin, and antibody production.
- Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) – The bark and root of cat’s claw, a woodsy vine, have been traditionally used by tribal herbalists to address various health conditions, like arthritis, chronic inflammatory disorders, and different gastrointestinal problems. Cat’s claw can restart the immune system to regulate white blood cell production and performance. The vine can also function as an adaptogen. This means that if your white blood cell count is too low, cat’s claw can increase it, and vice versa.
Where to learn more
Leukeran is only available as an oral tablet and it belongs to a class of drugs known as antineoplastic/anti-cancer drugs.
Leukeran may cause common side effects such as bone marrow suppression (which may involve bleeding, fever, and flu symptoms) and low white blood cell counts.
An overdose of Leukeran may cause complications such as an allergic reaction, seizures, or severe decreases in blood cell counts that can cause anemia, bleeding, and infections.
Fruits and vegetables, protein, probiotics, and whole-grains have similar effects to Leukeran and they can help make your body stronger.
Astragalus and cat’s claw can help prevent the side effects associated with Leukeran, such as low white blood cell counts.