Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) treatment and side effects
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) side effects
The side effects of treatment for CLL will depend on the treatment you have (if any) and how it affects you personally. Everyone is different.
We also have some important information on staying safe if you’ve got blood cancer, covering things like risk of infection and vaccinations.
You may experience some side effects from your treatment, especially if you’ve had chemo-immunotherapy. Side effects from CLL treatment can include:
- achy feeling
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- low blood pressure
- low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
- low red cell count (anaemia)
- mouth sores
- nausea and vomiting
- low neutrophil count (neutropenia), which means your body will find it harder to fight infection.
You’re unlikely to have all of these. Some side effects are linked to specific drugs – for example, fludarabine treatment can increase the risk of infections.
For most patients with CLL, side effects aren’t severe and they usually go away when you stop treatment. If you have side effects, do tell your healthcare team as they might be able to help with them. There are medicines you can take to help with nausea and vomiting, for instance.
Infections can become serious while you’re on treatment. Your medical team should tell you who to contact if you are unwell or have symptoms of infection.
We have more information about managing side effects.
My strategies for dealing with fatigue