Gliadel Side Effects
Generic name: carmustine
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 7, 2023.
Note: This document contains side effect information about carmustine. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Gliadel.
Applies to carmustine: implantation implant. Other dosage forms:
Serious side effects of Gliadel
Along with its needed effects, carmustine (the active ingredient contained in Gliadel) 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 while taking carmustine:
- Blurred vision
- change in ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
- problems with movement, walking, or speech
- trouble healing
- Change in personality
- general feeling of illness
- severe headache
- stiff neck or back
Other side effects of Gliadel
Some side effects of carmustine 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
- bladder pain
- bloody or cloudy urine
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- difficulty having a bowel movement
- feeling sad or empty
- frequent urge to urinate
- lack of appetite
- lack or loss of strength
- loss of interest or pleasure
- lower back or side pain
- stomach pain
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- Chest pain
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to carmustine: implant device, intravenous powder for injection.
Frequency not reported: Pulmonary toxicity (IV formulation)[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Myelosuppression (IV formulation)[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Nausea, vomiting, constipation
Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain
Postmarketing reports: Diarrhea, anorexia[Ref]
Postmarketing reports: Increased transaminase, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased bilirubin[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Administration reactions (IV formulation)
Postmarketing reports: Burning sensation[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Asthenia, fever
Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain
Frequency not reported: Wafer migration (wafer formulation)[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Ocular toxicity (IV formulation)
Postmarketing reports: Conjunctival edema, conjunctival hemorrhage, blurred vision, loss of depth perception[Ref]
Postmarketing reports: Acute leukemia, bone marrow dysplasia[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Impaired neurosurgical wound healing (wafer formulation) (16%)
Common (1% to 10%): Meningitis (wafer formulation)
Postmarketing reports: Opportunistic infection (sometimes fatal)
Common (1% to 10%): Back pain
Postmarketing reports: Diabetes mellitus
Very common (10% or more): Confusion, depression
Common (1% to 10%): Anxiety, thinking abnormal, hallucinations, insomnia, personality disorder
Very common (10% or more): Urinary tract infection
(wafer formulation) (23%), aphasia, somnolence, speech disorder
Common (1% to 10%): Intracranial hypertension (wafer formulation), brain abscess (wafer formulation), brain cyst (wafer formulation), hydrocephalus (wafer formulation), cerebral edema (wafer formulation), amnesia, facial paralysis, ataxia, hypesthesia, paresthesia, abnormal gait, dizziness, tremor, coma, hypokinesia
Postmarketing reports: Headache, encephalopathy
Very common (10% or more): Rash
Postmarketing reports: Hyperpigmentation, swelling, erythema, skin necrosis, alopecia, allergic reaction
More about Gliadel (carmustine)
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- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- Drug class: alkylating agents
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Related treatment guides
1. Multum Information Services, Inc. Expert Review Panel
2. O'Driscoll BR, Kalra S, Gattamaneni HR, Woodcock AA. Late carmustine lung fibrosis. Age at treatment may influence severity and survival. Chest. 1995;107:1355-7.
3. Lena H, Desrues B, Le Coz A, Quinquenel ML, Delaval P. Severe diffuse interstitial pneumonitis induced by carmustine (BCNU). Chest. 1994;105:1602-3.
4. Hasleton PS, O'Driscoll BR, Lynch P, Webster A, Kalra SJ, Gattamaneini HR, Woodcock AA, Poulter LW. Late BCNU lung: a light and ultrastructural study on the delayed effect of BCNU on the lung parenchyma. J Pathol. 1991;164:31-6.
5. Product Information. BiCNU (carmustine). Bristol-Myers Squibb. 2001.
6. Kanj SS, Sharara AI, Shpall EJ, Jones RB, Peters WP. Myocardial ischemia associated with high-dose carmustine infusion. Cancer. 1991;68:1910-2.
7. Mrozek-Orlowski M, Christie J, Flamme C, Novak J. Pain associated with peripheral infusion of carmustine. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1991;18:942.
8. Wiencke JK, Wiemels J. Genotoxicity of 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU). Mutat Res. 1995;339:91-119.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.