Generic Name: carmustine (kar MUS teen)Brand Names: BiCNU, Gliadel
What is Gliadel (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 other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Gliadel (carmustine)?Do not use carmustine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. You should not use this medication if you are allergic to carmustine.
Before receiving carmustine, tell your doctor if you have bone marrow suppression, liver or kidney disease, or a history of lung or breathing problems.
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.Carmustine can cause nausea and vomiting that may last up to 6 hours after your injection. Carmustine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood will need to be tested weekly for at least 6 weeks after you receive a dose of carmustine. Your kidneys, liver, and lung function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving Gliadel (carmustine)?You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to it.
To make sure you can safely receive carmustine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
bone marrow suppression-
kidney disease- or
a history of lung or breathing problems.
How is carmustine given?
Carmustine is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Carmustine must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take at least 2 hours to complete.
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.Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning or pain around the IV needle when carmustine is injected. 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. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested weekly for at least 6 weeks after you receive a dose of carmustine. This medication can have long-lasting effects on your body. Your kidneys, liver, and lung function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor for blood or urine tests.
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?Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.
What should I avoid while receiving Gliadel (carmustine)?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Gliadel (carmustine) side effectsGet 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. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
new or worsening cough, fever, trouble breathing-
feeling short of breath on 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).
Less serious side effects may include:
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 Gliadel (carmustine)?
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially cimetidine (Tagamet).
There may be other drugs that can interact with carmustine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
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.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.