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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Busulfan (Oral)

Busulfan (By Mouth)

Busulfan (byoo-SUL-fan)

Treats certain kinds of leukemia.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to busulfan, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. Drink plenty of fluids while using this medicine.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using itraconazole (Sporanox®), thioguanine (Tabloid®), or other cancer medicines. Tell your doctor about all chemotherapy or radiation treatments you have had.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you plan to have children, talk with your doctor before using this medicine. Some men and women using this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children).
  • 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.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have thalassemia, seizures, or a history of head injury.
  • This medicine may cause a rare but serious lung problem, which may develop months or years after you stop using the medicine. Signs of this problem include cough, trouble breathing, and low fever. These symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly. Talk with your doctor about this possible risk.
  • Using this medicine may increase your risk of developing other kinds of cancer, or having a recurrence of leukemia. Talk with your doctor about this risk.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Chills, fever, sore throat, swollen glands
  • Cough, runny or stuffy nose, shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, darkening of the skin
  • Seizures
  • Stomach pain, swelling of feet or lower legs
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual or sudden tiredness or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Change in menstrual periods
  • Dry mouth, nose, or eyes
  • Skin rash
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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