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carmustine

carmustine

Pronunciation: kar MUS teen

Brand: BiCNU, Gliadel

What is the most important information I should know about carmustine?

Carmustine is used to treat brain tumors, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Multum calldoc

Carmustine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).

Multum emt

Carmustine can cause nausea and vomiting that may last up to 6 hours after your injection.

What is carmustine?

Carmustine is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Carmustine is used to treat brain tumors, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Carmustine is sometimes given with other cancer medications.

Carmustine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving carmustine?

Multum donot

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to it.

To make sure carmustine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • bone marrow suppression;
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease; or
  • a history of lung or breathing problems.
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use carmustine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether carmustine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How is carmustine given?

Carmustine is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Carmustine is usually given once every 6 weeks. You may be given either a single injection or multiple injections over a 2-day period. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Multum emt

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning or pain around the IV needle when carmustine is injected.

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Carmustine can cause nausea and vomiting that may last up to 6 hours after your injection. You may be given anti-nausea medications to help prevent these side effects.

Carmustine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your kidneys, liver, and lung function may also need to be tested. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

Multum emt

Carmustine can have long lasting effects on your body. Your blood will need to be tested weekly for at least 6 weeks after you receive a dose of carmustine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your carmustine injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving carmustine?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

This medicine can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.

What are the possible side effects of carmustine?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum calldoc

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • new or worsening cough, fever, trouble breathing;
  • shortness of breath with mild exertion;
  • chest discomfort, dry cough or hack;
  • feeling weak or tired, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • drowsiness, confusion, mood changes, increased thirst, swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath;
  • severe burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given; or
  • redness of your eyes or skin and severe warmth or tingling under your skin (within 2 to 4 hours after your carmustine injection).

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;
  • headache; or
  • mild pain, swelling, redness, or darkened skin color where the injection was given.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect carmustine?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with carmustine, especially:

  • cimetidine.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with carmustine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about carmustine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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