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Generic Name: lomustine (LOE mus teen)
Brand Name: Gleostine

Medically reviewed on February 19, 2018.

What is Ceenu (lomustine)?

Lomustine is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread in the body.

Lomustine is used to treat brain tumors and Hodgkin's disease.

Lomustine is sometimes given with other cancer medications.

Lomustine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Ceenu (lomustine)?

Lomustine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).

Lomustine can have long lasting effects on your body. Your blood will need to be tested once per week for at least 6 weeks after you are treated with this medicine.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Ceenu (lomustine)?

You should not use lomustine if you are allergic to it.

To make sure lomustine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • bone marrow suppression;

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease; or

  • a history of lung or breathing problems.

Do not use lomustine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether lomustine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take Ceenu (lomustine)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

To get the correct dose, you may need to take 2 or more capsules that are different types and colors. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Lomustine is usually taken once every 6 weeks.

Wear disposable rubber gloves when you handle a lomustine capsule. Throw the gloves away after one use.

Do not open the lomustine capsule. Do not use a broken pill. The medicine from a broken pill can be dangerous if it gets on your skin. If this occurs, wash with soap and water. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a broken capsule.

Lomustine can cause nausea and vomiting for up to 24 hours after you take it. You may have loss of appetite that lasts for several days. Taking lomustine on an empty stomach may reduce nausea and vomiting. You may also be given anti-nausea medications. Call your doctor if you vomit right after taking a lomustine capsule.

Lomustine can have long-lasting effects on your body. Your blood will need to be tested once per week for at least 6 weeks after you are treated with this medicine.

Your lung function, kidney function, and liver function may also need to be checked.

Store at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Keep the bottle tightly closed until you are ready to take the medicine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of lomustine.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, cough, and feeling short of breath.

What should I avoid while taking Ceenu (lomustine)?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using lomustine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Ceenu (lomustine) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • signs of infection--fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores;

  • kidney problems--confusion, little or no urinating; swelling in your feet or ankles; feeling tired or short of breath; or

  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating.

Late-onset lung damage has occurred in some adults who had been treated for brain tumors during childhood. These patients had been treated with both radiation and medicine similar to lomustine. Lung symptoms developed up to 17 years after treatment. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • chest discomfort, dry cough or hack;

  • shortness of breath on exertion; or

  • weakness or tired feeling, loss of appetite, and rapid weight loss.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • lack of energy; or

  • problems with speech or balance.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Ceenu (lomustine)?

Other drugs may interact with lomustine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.