Pretransplant Conditioning in Adults and Children: Dose Assurance With Intravenous Busulfan

Vicki L. Fisher

Yvonne J. Barnes

Suzanne L. Nuss

ONF 2006, 33(2), E36-E43. DOI: 10.1188/06.ONF.E36-E43

Purpose/Objectives: To provide clinical insights into dosing and administration of IV busulfan, a conditioning agent for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).

Data Sources: Review of published literature related to busulfan pretransplant conditioning using MEDLINE®. Meeting abstracts, investigational protocols, and pharmaceutical manufacturers' package inserts also were reviewed.

Data Synthesis: Busulfan is an effective myeloablative conditioning agent for HSCT. The IV formulation increases dose assurance and the ability to target a therapeutic window. Therapeutic drug monitoring ensures that targeted blood levels are achieved, especially in children, thereby preventing underdosing, which can lead to disease progression or rejection, as well as overdosing, which can cause an increased risk of toxic side effects.

Conclusions: IV busulfan is a convenient, safe, and effective conditioning agent used in HSCT that has a predictable pharmacokinetic profile.

Implications for Nursing: An understanding of the pharmacokinetic principles underlying the relationship between the therapeutic window for busulfan and optimal HSCT outcomes will facilitate proper dosing and administration of IV busulfan.

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