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Temodar

Generic name: temozolomide (oral/injection) (TEM oh ZOE loe mide)
Brand name: Temodar
Drug class: Alkylating agents

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Jul 8, 2021.

What is Temodar?

Temodar (temozolomide) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body in the body.

Temodar is used together with radiation therapy to treat certain types of brain tumor in adults.

Temodar is usually given after other cancer medicines have been tried without success.

Warnings

You should not take Temodar if you are allergic to temozolomide or to another cancer medication called dacarbazine (DTIC-Dome). Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.

Call your doctor if you have fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.

Do not use temozolomide if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Do not open a capsule, or use a capsule that has been accidentally broken. The medicine from a crushed or broken pill can be dangerous if you accidentally inhale it, or if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a broken capsule.

Temodar is often given together with radiation treatment, and then continued for several weeks or months after radiation treatment ends. There may be periods of time when you will take this medicine for only a few days in a row and then wait another 2 to 4 weeks before you start a new treatment cycle and take it again. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. The size, color, and number of Temodar capsules you take may be different from time to time as your doctor adjusts your dose. Be sure you know the correct number of capsules to take and on which days to take them. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Taking Temodar may increase your risk of developing certain types of bone marrow cancer. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Temodar if you are allergic to temozolomide or dacarbazine.

To make sure Temodar is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Using Temodar may increase your risk of developing certain types of bone marrow cancer. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.

Temozolomide can harm an unborn baby if the mother or the father is using this medicine.

  • If you are a woman, you may need a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant. Use birth control while using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your last dose.

  • If you are a man, use birth control if your sex partner is able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 3 months after your last dose.

  • Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs.

It may be harder for a man to get a woman pregnant while using this medicine. You should still use birth control to prevent pregnancy because the medicine can harm an unborn baby.

Do not breastfeed while using this medicine, and for at least 1 week after your last dose.

How should I use Temodar?

Take Temodar exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Temodar is given in a 28-day treatment cycle and only on certain days of this cycle.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. The size, color, and number of capsules you take may sometimes be different from earlier treatment cycles. Be sure you know the correct number of capsules to take and on which days to take them. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Doses are based on body surface area (height and weight). Your dose may change if you gain or lose weight or if you are still growing.

Temodar injection is given by a healthcare provider. The medicine is injected slowly into a vein, over 90 minutes.

Take your entire daily dose of the capsules at the same time on each dosing day of a treatment cycle. Swallow the capsules whole with a full glass of water.

You may take Temodar capsules with or without food, but take it the same way each time.

You may need to take the capsules at bedtime or on an empty stomach if the medicine upsets your stomach.

If you vomit shortly after taking the medicine, do not take another capsule until your next regularly scheduled dose.

Do not use an open capsule. If the medicine from a broken pill gets in your mouth, eyes, or nose, or on your skin, wash with soap and water (or rinse eyes with water). Ask your pharmacist how to safely dispose of a broken pill.

You may be given medication to prevent nausea or other side effects while you are receiving Temodar.

Your blood will need to be tested often and your dose or medication schedule may be changed based on the results.

Your liver function may also need to be checked during treatment and for 2 to 4 weeks after you stop using this medicine.

Store capsules at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using Temodar?

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

Men should not donate semen while using Temodar and for at least 90 days after the last dose.

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Temodar side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough;

  • low blood cell counts - fever, chills, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath; or

  • liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common Temodar side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation;

  • headache, feeling tired;

  • seizure;

  • bruising, purple spots;

  • pain, itching, warmth, redness, swelling, or irritation where the medicine was injected; or

  • hair loss.

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.

What other drugs will affect Temodar?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • drugs that weaken the immune system such as cancer medicine, steroids, and medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection; or

  • valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor).

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with temozolomide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Temodar only for the indication prescribed.

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