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Carmustine (Injection)

Carmustine (kar-MUS-teen)

Treats cancer, including brain tumors, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin disease, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Brand Name(s):

Bicnu

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to carmustine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • Carmustine must be given slowly, so you may need to have the IV attached for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Do not get the medicine on your skin. If it does get on your skin, wash the area well with soap and water, and tell your caregiver.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
  • If you have your treatments at a clinic, the staff at the clinic will keep your medicine there.
  • If you store this medicine at home, keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not take cimetidine while you are using carmustine.
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • This medicine could cause infertility. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.
  • Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or have liver, lung, or kidney disease, a bone marrow disorder, any kind of infection, or if you have had other chemotherapy.
  • You may get infections more easily while being treated with this medicine. Stay away from crowds or people with colds, flu, or other infections.
  • This medicine may make your mouth sore and irritated. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush or mouth swab.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Pain, swelling, or burning where the IV is given
  • Shortness of breath, trouble breathing
  • Uncontrollable nausea or vomiting
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unexplained fever, chills, or sore throat
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 11/4/2014


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