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Brand names:


Other names:

CAFdA, Clofarex

Often used for:


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About Clofarabine

Clofarabine is a type of chemotherapy. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cells.

Patients will have regular blood draws to check blood counts and monitor liver and kidney function.

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May be given as a liquid into a vein by IV

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Possible Side Effects

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hand-foot syndrome (tingling of the hands and feet, redness and flaking of the skin)
  • Rash
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Itching
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fast breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Liver problems
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry, irritated skin
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Decreased urination
  • Low blood counts (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia and/or fatigue)
  • High blood pressure

Not all patients who take clofarabine will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Patients should drink plenty of fluids when taking clofarabine, especially if vomiting and diarrhea occur.
  • The doctor may recommend a lotion to manage a skin condition called hand-foot syndrome which causes tingling of the hands and feet, along with red, dryness, flaking and itchy skin. 
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy and for 6 months after completion of therapy.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding. 
  • Caregivers should follow instructions to avoid contact with patient body fluids, which can contain the drug for 48 hours after it is given.