It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
While you are being treated with clofarabine, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. Clofarabine 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 recently taken oral polio vaccine. 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.
Clofarabine can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain 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 immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you have fever or chills; a cough or hoarseness; lower back or side pain; or painful or difficult urination.
- Check with your doctor immediately 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 and toenail cutters.
- Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
This medicine may cause a serious type of reaction called the tumor lysis syndrome. This syndrome may cause you to have high amounts of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia). Your doctor may give you a medicine to help prevent this. Call your doctor right away if you have a decrease or change in urine amount; joint pain, stiffness, or swelling; lower back, side, or stomach pain; rapid weight gain; swelling of the feet or lower legs; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Call your doctor right away if you have dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly; a fast or irregular heartbeat; shortness of breath; or swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs. These may be symptoms of rare but serious conditions called capillary leak syndrome or systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS).
Check with your doctor right away if you have yellow skin or eyes, because these may be signs of a serious liver condition called jaundice.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before you receive this medicine. Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.