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CLL Support Association
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Venetoclax and fatigue

Greetings fellow CLLers,

I was on ibrutinib for 3 years and stopped due to fatigue, which disappeared after 3 weeks or so off the drug. I started venetoclax 14 months ago and have done very well re: ALC and no real fatigue - until the past few months. I am really wasted by 7pm, which is new since having started venetoclax. My hemoglobin is down from 42 to 36, which may be somewhat explanatory. Venetoclax is known to be myelosuppressive.

Fatigue is a tough thing to quantify and to blame on a drug, since many of us had severe fatigue prior to treatment and are now old enough to attribute some degree of fatigue to age. Fatigue is so common as well. No surprise that it is listed as an adverse effect of so many drugs, since fatigue is often present during clinical trials, even if it may be unrelated to the drug in question.

My questions is whether others have developed fatigue while on venetoclax, such that they are pretty confident that it is a drug-related effect. If I knew it was related to venetoclax, and especially if I turn out to be MRD negative (will know in a few weeks), I'd stop the drug for a few weeks to see how I feel at that point.

I this a familiar scenario to anyone of you, i.e. those taking venetoclax?

3 Replies

Benmarto, If you go to the CLL Patient Power website and enter CLL and fatigue in the search box, there are several informative videos on the subject!

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I don't know about that drug but I am on Ibrutnib and have fatigue, but not all the time, that's what's odd about it. It makes me wonder if I just have fatigue because of my age and my disease. Guess I'll never figure it out.


What you give as your hemoglobin has to be a different count. An HGB that is low can explain fatigue, but that number for hemoglobin doesn't make sense.


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