Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 10, 2019.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Alkylating Agent
Chemical Class: Imidazole Carboxamide
Uses for temozolomide
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).
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 temozolomide will do as well as the risks of using it.
Temozolomide is to be given only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.
Before using temozolomide
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 temozolomide, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to temozolomide 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.
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.
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.
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. When you are receiving temozolomide, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using temozolomide with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Measles Virus Vaccine, Live
- Mumps Virus Vaccine, Live
- Rotavirus Vaccine, Live
- Rubella Virus Vaccine, Live
- Varicella Virus Vaccine, Live
- Zoster Vaccine, Live
Using temozolomide with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Adenovirus Vaccine
- Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live
- Cholera Vaccine, Live
- Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine, Live
- Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live
- Poliovirus Vaccine, Live
- Smallpox Vaccine
- Typhoid Vaccine
- Yellow Fever Vaccine
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 temozolomide. 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 temozolomide
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you temozolomide in a hospital or cancer treatment center. Temozolomide 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.
Temozolomide 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.
Temozolomide should come with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Precautions while using temozolomide
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that temozolomide is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using temozolomide while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment and for at least 6 months after your last dose. Men who are using temozolomide, with female partners who can become pregnant must use effective birth control (eg, condoms) during and for at least 3 months after the last dose of temozolomide. If you think you or your female partner 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.
Male patients should not donate semen during treatment and for at least 3 months after the final dose of temozolomide.
If you plan to have children, talk with your doctor before using temozolomide. Some men using temozolomide have become infertile (unable to have children).
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.
Temozolomide 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:
- 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
- cold or flu-like symptoms
- cough or hoarseness
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- difficulty with breathing
- dryness or soreness of the throat
- ear congestion
- frequent urge to urinate
- 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
- shakiness and unsteady walk
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- tightness of the chest
- tingling of the hands or feet
- trouble swallowing
- troubled breathing
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
- voice changes
- Black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- 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
- 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:
- Back pain
- being forgetful
- blurred vision
- breast pain
- change in walking and balance
- clumsiness or unsteadiness
- fear or nervousness
- feeling sad or empty
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- lack or loss of strength
- loss of interest or pleasure
- problems with memory
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- weight loss
- 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
Incidence not known
- Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about temozolomide
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 9 Reviews
- Drug class: alkylating agents
Other brands: Temodar