Leukemia (CLL)

« Treatment »

Oral Medicine for CLL: Ibrutinib

Ibrutinib is among the new oral medications approved for treatment of CLL. It is a BTK inhibitor–meaning it targets abnormal cells.

Common side effects reported with Ibrutinib are increased risk of bleeding or bruising, atrial fibrillation (rapid heart rate), diarrhea, joint aches, rash and high blood pressure. Although these side effects have all been reported by patients using the medication, most patients only experience one or two. It is also possible for patients to have no toxicities from treatment, and feel like they are not on treatment at all.

The biggest issue many patients have with Ibrutinib, says Dr. Nicole Lamanna, a leukemia specialist at Columbia University Medical Center, is that it’s a chronic medication, so patients could be on it for years and may find it hard to take a daily pill for so long.

Dr. Matthew Davids, the Associate Director of the CLL Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute also contributed to this video.

Learn more about SurvivorNet's rigorous medical review process.

Treatment: Oral Medications

For patients diagnosed with CLL, the go-to treatment option is usually some form of chemo-immunotherapy. But this is not an option for all patients.


Oral Medicine for Relapsed CLL: Venetoclax


Oral Medicine for CLL: Ibrutinib


Oral Medicine for Relapsed CLL

Dr. Matthew Davids
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute