Generic Name: temozolomide (Intravenous route)

tem-oh-ZOE-loe-mide

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Temodar

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution

Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent

Pharmacologic Class: Alkylating Agent

Chemical Class: Imidazole Carboxamide

Uses For Temodar

Temozolomide injection is used to treat specific types of brain cancer (eg, glioblastoma multiforme, anaplastic astrocytoma) in patients whose tumors have returned or whose tumors have just been diagnosed. It belongs to the group of medicines known as antineoplastics (cancer medicines).

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Temozolomide interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are then destroyed by the body. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by temozolomide injection, other side effects may occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Some side effects may not occur for months or years after the medicine is used.

Before you begin treatment with temozolomide injection, you and your doctor should talk about the benefits this medicine will do as well as the risks of using it.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

Before Using Temodar

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of temozolomide injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of temozolomide injection have not been performed in the geriatric population, geriatric-specific problems are not expected to limit the usefulness of temozolomide in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving temozolomide injection.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters D Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bone marrow problems (eg, anemia, leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia) or
  • Liver problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Infection—May decrease your body's ability to fight infections.
  • Kidney disease, severe or
  • Liver disease, severe—Use with caution.

Proper Use of Temodar

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital or cancer treatment center. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins. It must be injected slowly, so your IV tube will need to stay in place for 90 minutes.

This medicine may cause nausea and vomiting. However, it is very important that you continue to receive the medicine even if you begin to feel ill. Ask your doctor for ways to lessen these effects.

This medicine should come with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Precautions While Using Temodar

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Temozolomide injection can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection (eg, pneumonia). It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

  • If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you have fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, painful or difficult urination, shortness of breath, or unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
  • Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
  • Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
  • Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Temodar Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Bladder pain
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chills
  • cold or flu-like symptoms
  • congestion
  • cough or hoarseness
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty with breathing
  • dryness or soreness of the throat
  • ear congestion
  • fever
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • headache
  • loss of ability to use or understand speech or language
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of voice
  • lower back or side pain
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • partial or slight paralysis
  • rapid weight gain
  • seizures
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • tightness of the chest
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • trouble swallowing
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • voice changes
Less common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • flushing or redness of the skin
  • hives, itching, or skin rash
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually warm skin
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • clay colored stools
  • decreased appetite
  • deep, dark purple bruise
  • diarrhea
  • joint or muscle pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • small red or purple spots on the skin
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Back pain
  • being forgetful
  • blurred vision
  • breast pain
  • change in walking and balance
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • constipation
  • discouragement
  • fear or nervousness
  • feeling sad or empty
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • irritability
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • problems with memory
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping
  • weight loss
Less common
  • Change in taste or bad unusual or unpleasant (after) taste
  • changes in vision
  • difficulty with moving
  • double vision
  • dry skin
  • increased weight
  • mood or mental changes
  • muscle aching or cramping
  • muscle stiffness
  • seeing double
  • swollen joints

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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