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Clofarabine (Clolar)

How does this medicine work?
Clofarabine (klo-fair-uh-bean) is an anti-metabolite chemotherapy drug. It prevents cells from making DNA and RNA, which stops the growth of cancer cells. 

How is the medicine given?
Clofarabine is given in the vein (IV) by an infusion.

What are the side effects? 


  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Low blood cell counts
  • Fast heart beat
  • Swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Fever
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling anxious or irritable
  • Respiratory distress


  • Pain (back, bone, limb, abdomen)
  • Rash, flushing
  • Infection
  • Low potassium and magnesium levels
  • Itching
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in kidney and liver function
  • Sores in mouth or on lips
  • Hair loss
  • Decreased appetite


  • Capillary leak syndrome
  • Liver damage
  • Acute kidney damage

When should I call the clinic?

Call the clinic if:

  • Fever, chills
  • Bleeding, unusual bruising
  • Severe nausea/vomiting
  • Cough, shortness of breath
  • Pain
  • Have fast heartbeat
  • Dark urine, light colored stools, yellow skin or eyes
  • Dizziness, loss of consciousness
  • Signs of an allergic reaction:
    • rash or hives
    • wheezing
    • trouble breathing-call 911

What else do I need to know?
During the infusion your child will have their blood pressure, heart, and lung function monitored.

You will be asked to have regular blood tests while receiving this medication. This is to make sure your bone marrow, liver, and kidneys are working properly.

All caregivers should wear gloves when handling urine, stool, and vomit while your child is receiving chemotherapy and for 48 hours afterward. Urine, stool, and vomit can be safely disposed of in septic tanks and the sewer system.

Any clothes or bed linens that are contaminated with urine, stool, or vomit should be washed separately from other laundry in hot water and detergent. Anyone handling the contaminated laundry should wear gloves.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child’s care.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the oncology clinic or pharmacy.

Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Last reviewed Hem/Onc 6/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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