Skip to Main Content

Welcome to

Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.

Learn More



Brand names:


Other names:

Fludarabine phosphate

Often used for:

Leukemia, Lymphoma

clipboard icon

About Fludarabine

Fludarabine is a type of chemotherapy. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cells. It is also used to help prepare patients for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant.

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

iv bag icon

May be given as a liquid into a vein by IV

tablet and capsule icon

May be taken as a tablet by mouth (not available in the U.S.)

exclamation mark in a circle icon

Possible Side Effects

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Infections
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mouth sores 
  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Low blood counts (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia, and/or fatigue)
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Vision changes
  • Confusion
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding (in urine or stool)
  • Tingling in the hands or feet
  • Swelling of feet or legs

Not all patients who take fludarabine 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.

late effects icon

Possible Late Effects

Some patients may experience long-term or late effects of treatment that may continue or develop months or years after treatment ends. Possible late effects include:

  • Neurologic disorder called ‘leukoencephalopathy’. Signs may include confusion, weakness, difficulty speaking, vision changes, or seizures.
  • Skin cancer
  • Fertility problems in males
family icon

Tips for Families

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

  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment 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.