Leukeran (chlorambucil) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat certain types of cancer. Specifically, Leukeran can be prescribed to treat:
- chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- certain lymphomas, such as:
This medication comes as an oral tablet. It belongs to a group of drugs called alkylating agents.
Leukeran is only available as a brand-name medication. There’s currently no generic version.
The following chart summarizes Leukeran’s typical dosages. Your doctor will determine the dosage that’s best for you.
|Condition||Typical Leukeran dosage|
|CLL||0.1 milligrams per kilograms* of body weight (mg/kg) once daily|
|NHL||0.1 mg/kg once daily|
|HL||0.2 mg/kg once daily|
* One kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb).
For information about the dosage of Leukeran, including its strength and how to take the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Leukeran, see this article.
This article describes the typical dosage for Leukeran provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Leukeran, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Before you start treatment with Leukeran, your doctor will recommend the best dosage of medication for you. Your dosage may be based on many factors, including your body weight and your condition. (To learn more, see the “Factors that affect your dosage” section just below.)
Leukeran comes as an oral tablet.
Leukeran is only available in one strength: 2 milligrams (mg).
Typically, your doctor will start your treatment with the recommended dosage of Leukeran that’s specific for your condition. They may adjust your dosage over time to reach the drug amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly taken or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
The dosage of Leukeran to treat CLL is based on body weight in kilograms (kg). (One kg is about 2.2 pounds [lb].) The recommended dosage for CLL is 0.1 mg/kg once daily.
So, if you weigh 60 kg (about 132 lb), you’ll typically take 6 mg of Leukeran once daily. This would be for about 3 to 6 weeks. Then, you may have a break with no Leukeran treatment. This is considered one full cycle. Your doctor may prescribe multiple cycles of Leukeran.
It’s also possible for your doctor to recommend a different treatment schedule for your CLL. In some cases, they may recommend intermittent dosing. This means taking a higher dose of Leukeran every other week or once monthly. In this case, your doctor may recommend starting treatment with a dose of 0.4 mg/kg. Then they’ll increase the dose by 0.1 mg/kg until your cancer is managed. Or they’ll increase it until you experience a side effect* from the drug.
Your doctor will recommend either daily dosing of Leukeran or intermittent dosing. This will depend on your condition and how you respond to treatment.
* To learn more about the side effects of Leukeran, see this article.
Dosage for certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), such as follicular lymphoma (FL)
The Leukeran dosage for treating NHL is based on body weight in kilograms (kg). (One kg is about 2.2 pounds [lb].) The recommended dosage of Leukeran for NHL is 0.1 mg/kg once daily.
So, if you weigh 60 kg (about 132 lb), you’ll take 6 mg of Leukeran once daily. This would be for about 3 to 6 weeks. Then, you may have a break with no Leukeran treatment. This is considered one full cycle. Your doctor may prescribe multiple cycles of Leukeran.
Dosage for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)
The dosage of Leukeran to treat HL is based on body weight in kilograms (kg). (One kg is about 2.2 pounds [lb].) The recommended dosage for HL is 0.2 mg/kg once daily.
So, if you weigh 50 kg (about 110 lb), you’ll take 10 mg of Leukeran once daily. This would be for about 3 to 6 weeks. Then, you may have a break with no Leukeran treatment. This is considered one full cycle. Your doctor may prescribe multiple cycles of Leukeran.
Leukeran can be prescribed as a long-term treatment option. For example, your doctor may recommend taking your dose once every 2 weeks or once every month. This would be for as long as Leukeran is effective for your condition. In this case, your doctor will likely recommend a smaller dosage of Leukeran, such as 0.1 mg/kg once daily.
However, in most cases, your doctor will prescribe a higher dose of Leukeran for only 3 to 6 weeks. But they may recommend more than one treatment cycle.
In general, short-term treatment with Leukeran may decrease the risk of side effects compared to long-term treatment with the drug. (To learn more about the side effects of Leukeran, see this article.)
If you have questions about how long you’ll take Leukeran, talk with your doctor.
The Leukeran dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type of condition you’re taking Leukeran to treat
- your body weight
- side effects* that you may experience from Leukeran treatment
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Leukeran dosage.
It’s possible that your doctor may adjust your Leukeran dosage during your treatment. This may occur if:
- you have side effects from the medication, such as bone marrow suppression†
- your weight changes
If you have questions about changes in your dosage, talk with your doctor.
* To learn more about the side effects of Leukeran, see this article.
† Leukeran has a
Leukeran comes as an oral tablet that you’ll swallow whole. You should not break, crush, or chew Leukeran tablets.
It’s important to note that touching broken Leukeran tablets may be harmful. This is because Leukeran is a type of chemotherapy, which can be harmful to handle. So, you should be careful when you handle the drug. The American Cancer Society has
Your doctor or pharmacist will recommend the best ways to handle the drug. If you have questions, be sure to talk with them.
Accessible drug labels and containers
If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Leukeran in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
Talk with your doctor about what to do if you miss your dose of Leukeran. In some cases, they may recommend taking your dose as soon as you remember. However, sometimes they may recommend skipping your missed dose and taking the next dose at your next scheduled time.
If you take more Leukeran than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects. It’s important not to take more Leukeran than your doctor advises.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Leukeran can include:
- nervous system problems, such as loss of coordination
- muscle weakness
- low levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets
If you take more than the recommended amount of Leukeran
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Leukeran. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Leukeran, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Leukeran without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Leukeran that’s right for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Leukeran. These additional resources might be helpful:
- More about Leukeran. For information about other aspects of Leukeran, refer to this article.
- Drug comparisons. To find out how Leukeran compares with Imbruvica, you can read this article. To learn how it compares with Calquence, read here.
- Details about cancer. For more information about cancer, see our cancer hub. You can also see these articles about lymphoma and leukemia.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today 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.