Health Guide

Busulfan (By injection)

Busulfan (bue-SUL-fan)

Treats certain kinds of leukemia and prepares the body for a stem cell transplant.

Brand Name(s):

Busulfex, Busulfex Novaplus

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to busulfan.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • This medicine is very strong. Make sure you understand why you are receiving it and the risks and benefits of treatment.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or chemotherapy treatment center.
  • Your medicine will be given through a tube called a central venous catheter that is put into your chest.
  • Before you receive busulfan, you will be given medicines to help prevent vomiting and other side effects.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Tell your doctor all other medicines you are taking or have taken within the week before you receive busulfan.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Tell your doctor if you had a seizure or head injury, or if you have ever received radiation treatments, other stem cell transplants, or other types of chemotherapy.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular times during your treatment.
  • Busulfan lowers your body's ability to fight infection. Avoid anyone who has a cold or other infection.
  • Busulfan may increase your risk for other types of cancer or a recurrence of leukemia.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Fever, chills, or sore throat
  • Sores or ulcers on your lips or in your mouth

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

  • Anxiety or headache
  • Change in menstrual periods
  • Loss of appetite or stomach pain
  • Skin rash
  • Trouble sleeping

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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