If you have a certain type of cancer, your doctor might suggest Leukeran as a treatment option for you. It’s a prescription drug used to treat the following conditions in adults:
- certain kinds of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including follicular lymphoma
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Leukeran comes as a tablet that you swallow. The active ingredient in Leukeran is chlorambucil. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Leukeran belongs to a group of chemotherapy drugs called alkylating agents.
This article describes the usual dosage of Leukeran, as well as its strength and how to take it. To learn more about Leukeran, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Leukeran’s usual dosage, which is provided by the drugmaker. But when taking Leukeran, always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
Below is information about Leukeran’s typical dosages.
Note: This chart highlights the basics of Leukeran’s dosage. Be sure to read on for more detail.
|Leukeran’s dosage and administration
|2 milligrams (mg)
|· mg/kilogram (kg)* by mouth daily
· mg/kg by mouth daily
· 0.4 mg/kg by mouth every 2 to 4 weeks
* 1 kg is about 2.2 pounds (lbs.)
What is Leukeran’s form?
Leukeran comes as a tablet that you swallow.
What strength does Leukeran come in?
Leukeran comes in one strength of 2 mg.
What is the usual dosage of Leukeran?
Your doctor will likely start you on a low dosage of Leukeran and adjust it over time to reach the right amount for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dose and frequency that provides the desired effect.
You’ll usually take your entire Leukeran dose once per day. Your dose will be determined by weight, and your doctor may adjust your dose based on how your body reacts.
The usual dose is about 4 mg to 10 mg daily. You’ll usually take Leukeran short term for about 3 to 6 weeks. But your doctor will prescribe a dosing timeline that works best for you. If you’ll be taking Leukeran for longer than 3 to 6 weeks, your dosage may be lower.
This section describes the dosage that’s most commonly used or recommended for short-term treatment. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Your doctor will likely prescribe either daily dosing or intermittent dosing for your CLL.
Daily dosing. This is usually 0.1 mg/kg daily. For example, if you weigh 60 kg, your daily dose will be 6 mg. That means you’ll take three 2-mg tablets by mouth each day.
Intermittent dosing. This means you take your dose less often, which could be once every 2 weeks or once per month. Intermittent dosing usually starts with a dose of 0.4 mg/kg. If your doctor prescribes this dosing schedule, your dose may increase slowly by about 0.1 mg/kg at a time, depending on how your body reacts.
Dosage for certain types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), such as follicular lymphoma (FL)
The usual dosage of Leukeran for NHL is 0.1 mg/kg each day. For example, if you weigh 60 kg, your daily dose will be 6 mg. That means you’ll take three 2-mg tablets by mouth each day.
Dosage for Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL)
The usual dosage of Leukeran for HL is 0.2 mg/kg each day. For example, if you weigh 60 kg, your daily dose will be 12 mg, which is six 2-mg tablets. Your doctor may choose a dose that’s not exactly based on your body weight.
What’s the dosage of Leukeran for children?
Leukeran is sometimes used in children, but this is an off-label use. (Off-label use is when a drug is used in way that it’s not been approved for.) The manufacturer of Leukeran does not recommend a specific dose for children.
Is Leukeran used long term?
Leukeran may be a short- or long-term treatment. The duration of your treatment will depend on your specific condition and how your body reacts to the drug.
Your dosage of Leukeran may be increased slowly during your treatment. It may also be decreased or paused if your blood tests show a negative reaction to the drug.
The dosage of Leukeran you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using the drug to treat
- your age
- your weight
- your blood test results (how many blood cells you have)
- other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” just above)
Leukeran comes as a tablet that you swallow. You’ll usually take more than one tablet at a time to get your dose. You can take it with or without food. You should not crush or split Leukeran tablets.
While you might go to a hospital or infusion center to get other chemotherapy, you can take your Leukeran dose at home.
Leukeran comes in a glass container. For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Leukeran, see this article.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.
Accessible drug containers and labels
If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:
- have large print or use braille
- feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
If you have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Leukeran in an easy-open container. They may also have tips to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container. Leukeran comes in a glass bottle, so let your pharmacy know in advance.
If you miss a dose of Leukeran, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They’ll help you figure out what to do next. This will probably depend on whether you’re taking a daily dose or an intermittent dose.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Leukeran on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.
Do not take more Leukeran than your doctor prescribes as this can lead to serious side effects.
Symptoms of overdose
Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:
What to do in case you take too much Leukeran
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Leukeran. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room. You may need to get a blood transfusion.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Leukeran’s dosage.
Do higher doses of Leukeran cause mood changes, such as anxiety?
It’s rare. Anxiety and mood changes such as agitation are rare side effects of Leukeran. One of the symptoms of an overdose is agitation, but that’s not likely to happen at the dose you’re prescribed.
The process of chemotherapy can be very stressful, and it’s normal to feel anxiety about it. If you notice you’re feeling more anxiety since you started taking Leukeran, talk with your doctor.
Do I need to keep my Leukeran dose refrigerated?
Yes, you’ll keep your Leukeran dose in the refrigerator until you’re ready to take it.
Is a shorter length of Leukeran treatment better?
It depends. A shorter treatment length means you’ll likely have fewer side effects. But your doctor will prescribe a treatment length that best fits your needs. Your specific case might need a longer treatment schedule for you to benefit from the drug.
Some people have taken lower doses of Leukeran for a longer amount of time. This is called maintenance therapy, and the drugmaker reports that it’s used less often than short-term treatment. The lower dosages for this type of treatment plan are usually between 0.03 mg/kg and 0.1 mg/kg daily.
The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drugmaker. If your doctor recommends Leukeran, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you shouldn’t change your dosage of Leukeran without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Leukeran exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage. Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask them:
- Should my dose change if Leukeran isn’t working well enough for me?
- How often will my dose change based on my blood tests?
- Would a different dosage of Leukeran reduce my risk of side effects?
- If I’m taking Leukeran for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, should I be on a daily schedule or an intermittent schedule?
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.