Treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia usually includes chemotherapy and drug therapy. First, chemotherapy or other drugs are used to destroy the leukemia cells in the bone marrow, where the cancer originates. Second, chemotherapy is used to prevent the cells from growing again. In some cases, a bone marrow transplant may help to replace cancer cells with healthy cells. The two phases of treatment may take months. Because pain and nausea are common symptoms, pain medications and antinausea medications are used to provide relief.
Treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia may include:
- Narcotic pain medication
- Medications for nausea and vomiting:
- Aprepitant (Emend)
- Dolasetron (Anzemet)
- Granisetron (Kytril)
- Metoclopramide (Reglan)
- Ondansetron (Zofran)
- Palonosetron (Aloxi)
- Prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro)
- Chemotherapy for acute myelogenous leukemia:
- Cytosine arabinoside, cytarabine (Cytosar-U)
- Daunorubicin (Cerubidine)
- Idarubicin (Idamycin)
- Mitoxantrone (Novantrone)
- Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg)
- Arsenic trioxide (Trisenox)
- Immune therapy:
- Prophylactic antibiotics:
- Given to prevent bacterial infections
- Antifungal medications:
- Prevents fungal infections in those with mucositis
- Nystatin (Nilstat)
- Clotrimazole troches (Mycelex)
- Itraconazole (Sporanox)
- Given to control uric acid levels in the blood
- Bone marrow transplant for acute myelogenous leukemia
- Psychosocial support:
- Social worker
AML Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
- Are my children at risk for this condition?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Continue to AML Home Care
- Aul C, Giagounidis A, Germing U, Ganser A. Evaluating the prognosis of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Ann Hematol. 2002 Sep;81(9):485-97. 
- Lowenberg B, Downing JR, Burnett A. Acute myeloid leukemia. N Engl J Med. 1999 Sep 30;341(14):1051-62. 
- Niemeyer CM, Kratz C. Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2003 Jun;4(3):203-10.