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Carmustine implant

Generic Name: carmustine (kar-MUS-teen)
Brand Name: Gliadel

Carmustine implant is used for:

Treating certain types of brain cancer along with surgery and radiation therapy.

Carmustine implant is an antineoplastic. It works by interfering with the growth of cancer cells.

Do NOT use carmustine implant if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in carmustine implant

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using carmustine implant:

Some medical conditions may interact with carmustine implant. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are receiving other cancer chemotherapy or undergoing radiation therapy

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with carmustine implant. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Cimetidine because the side effects of carmustine implant may be increased
  • Digoxin or hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because their effectiveness may be decreased by carmustine implant

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if carmustine implant may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use carmustine implant:

Use carmustine implant as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • After the tumor is surgically removed from the brain, carmustine implant is implanted by the surgeon into the cavity left by the tumor. The number of wafers implanted depends on your medical condition.
  • If you miss a dose of carmustine implant, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use carmustine implant.

Important safety information:

  • Wafers should only be handled by personnel wearing surgical gloves because exposure to carmustine can cause severe burning and hyperpigmentation of the skin.
  • Carmustine implant may affect sperm in men. This may affect being able to father a child. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • If you may become pregnant, you must use an effective form of birth control after carmustine implant is put in. If you have questions about effective birth control, talk with your doctor.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Carmustine implant may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant after carmustine implant is put in. If you become pregnant after carmustine implant is put in, contact your doctor right away. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using carmustine implant while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking carmustine implant.

Possible side effects of carmustine implant:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Back pain; constipation; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; confusion; dizziness; fainting; fever; memory trouble or loss of memory; mental or mood changes; muscle weakness; pain; seizures; severe stomach pain; stiff neck; swelling or infection of the surgical site; tremor; trouble sleeping; trouble speaking; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual numbness or tingling; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of carmustine implant:

Carmustine implant is handled and stored by a health care provider. You will not store it at home. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about carmustine implant, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Carmustine implant is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take carmustine implant or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about carmustine implant. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to carmustine implant. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using carmustine implant.

Review Date: November 3, 2016

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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