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Carmustine intraven.
CARMUSTINE - INJECTION

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

CARMUSTINE - INJECTION

(kar-MUST-een)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): BiCNU

WARNING: Carmustine has caused severe, even fatal, lung problems (pulmonary toxicity) and severe blood disorders (e.g., bone marrow suppression). Pulmonary toxicity may not be seen until years after this medication has been used. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop easy bruising or bleeding, breathing problems, an infection with symptoms such as persistent fever, sore throat, chills or unusual fatigue. The chances of developing these problems increase as more of this drug is used. A history of lung problems also increases the chance of pulmonary toxicity. Your doctor will monitor your blood cells for at least 6 weeks after a dose is given. Future doses may be adjusted accordingly. Doses must not be given more frequently than every 6 weeks.

Uses

Carmustine is used to treat various cancers, Hodgkin's disease or tumors.

How To Use

This medication is administered by infusion into a vein over a 1-2 hour period. The dose and frequency of use of this medication will be determined in part by your condition and your response to previous therapy. Follow your doctor's instructions closely and be sure to ask any questions you may have about this therapy.

Side Effects

Nausea, dizziness, flushing or irritation at the injection site may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor promptly. Notify your doctor if you develop: mouth sores, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness, skin rash, itching, flu-like symptoms (fever, chills), breathing trouble, coughing, vision changes, chest pain, fast heartbeat. This medication affects your blood cells reducing your ability to fight off infections. Notify your doctor if you develop any signs of an infection (fever, chills). If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: liver or kidney disease, lung disease, shingles, recent exposure to chickenpox, blood disorders, allergies (especially drug allergies). This medication must be handled carefully because it can irritate the skin. This drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this drug. Women of child-bearing age are advised to use reliable birth control during treatment. It is unknown if this drug is excreted into breast milk. Due to possible fetal harm, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding. Caution is advised when using this drug in children. Serious lung problems may develop later after use in children.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take including: cimetidine, digoxin, phenytoin. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Notes

Laboratory tests and blood tests will be done frequently to monitor the effectiveness of this medication and to prevent side effects.

Missed Dose

It is important that each dose be used as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store this medication in the refrigerator as directed. Check the expiration date on the label and properly discard of any unused medication after that time.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).