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All about: Busulfan Tablet

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Generic Name: Busulfan Tablet (byoo-SUL-fan)
Brand Name: Myleran

Busulfan may cause severe bone marrow depression, which can reduce the body's ability to fight infection or cancer. Lab tests will be required to monitor therapy. Busulfan may also increase the risk of developing a second cancer.


Busulfan is used for:

Treating the symptoms of chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Busulfan is an alkylating agent. It works by slowing down reproduction and growth of certain white blood cells, which helps the body fight leukemia.

Do NOT use Busulfan if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Busulfan
  • you are also taking metronidazole or have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Busulfan:

Some medical conditions may interact with Busulfan. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have bone marrow depression, blood problems (eg, porphyria, thalassemia), a head injury, or a history of seizures (eg, epilepsy)
  • if you have undergone chemotherapy or radiation or have previously or are currently taking any other medicines for cancer
  • if you are overweight

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Busulfan. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Metronidazole, acetaminophen, or itraconazole because the toxic side effects of Busulfan may be increased
  • Cyclophosphamide because the risk of serious heart side effects may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Busulfan may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Busulfan:

Use Busulfan as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Busulfan may be taken with or without food. If nausea or vomiting occurs, it may help to take Busulfan on an empty stomach.
  • Busulfan works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking this medicine is recommended. Check with your doctor or nurse for instructions.
  • If you miss a dose of Busulfan, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Busulfan.

Important safety information:

  • Busulfan may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Busulfan. Using Busulfan alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Busulfan may lower your resistance to infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have thoroughly washed your hands first.
  • Busulfan may reduce the number of certain blood cells that are needed for clotting. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations where bruising or injury may occur.
  • Check with your doctor before having vaccinations while you are using Busulfan.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Busulfan.
  • Busulfan increases the risk of a second cancer in future years. If you have questions about this risk, talk with your doctor.
  • The use of birth control is recommended while you are taking Busulfan.
  • Busulfan may cause infertility. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
  • LAB TESTS, including liver function tests, blood cell counts, and bone marrow tests, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Busulfan has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking Busulfan. If you suspect you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Busulfan during pregnancy. It is unknown if Busulfan is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Busulfan.

Possible side effects of Busulfan:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Darkening of the skin; diarrhea; dizziness; dry mouth, nose, and throat.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abrupt weakness; chest pain; confusion; congestion; decreased ability to fight infection; fever, chills, or sore throat; infertility; loss of appetite; missed menstrual period; nausea; persistent cough; seizures; shortness of breath; stomach or joint pain; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or fatigue; vision changes; vomiting; weight loss; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Busulfan:

Store Busulfan at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Busulfan out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Busulfan, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Busulfan is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Busulfan. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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