GENERIC NAME: CARMUSTINE - INJECTION (kar-MUS-teen)
BRAND NAME(S): BiCNU
WARNING: This medication may cause very serious blood disorders (decreased bone marrow function leading to low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets). These effects can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, or cause your body to bruise or bleed more easily. If these effects occur, it is usually 4 to 6 weeks after the medication is given. Your doctor will monitor your blood counts for at least 6 weeks after your dose of the medication. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, unusual tiredness, fast/pounding heartbeat.
This medication may also cause very serious (possibly fatal) lung problems. The lung problems can occur years after treatment. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, persistent cough, chest pain, persistent weakness/tiredness.
USES: This medication is used to treat certain types of cancer (e.g., multiple myeloma, brain tumor, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma). Carmustine belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
HOW TO USE: This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. Dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment. This medication is usually given every 6 weeks or as directed by your doctor.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Nausea, vomiting, headache, flushing, or pain at injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Many people using this medication have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, severe stomach/abdominal pain, change in the amount of urine, vision changes, fast heartbeat, dizziness.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before using carmustine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood/bone marrow disorders, liver disease, lung disease, kidney disease, recent/current infection.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, elderly people may be at greater risk for side effects while using this drug.Caution is advised when using this drug in children. Serious lung problems have developed years later in people who received this medication as children.This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pills) while using this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.Some products that may interact with this drug include: digoxin, drugs that may decrease bone marrow function (e.g., azathioprine, cimetidine), nalidixic acid, phenytoin.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood count, liver/kidney/lung function) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
MISSED DOSE: For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
STORAGE: Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised April 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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