Why is this medicine prescribed?
Carmustine implant is used along with surgery and sometimes radiation therapy to treat malignant glioma (a certain type of cancerous brain tumor). Carmustine is in a class of medications called alkylating agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.
How should this medicine be used?
Carmustine implant comes as a small wafer that is placed in the brain by a doctor during surgery to remove the brain tumor. The doctor places carmustine wafers directly into a cavity in the brain that was created when the brain tumor was removed. After being placed in the brain, the wafers dissolve and slowly release carmustine into the surrounding areas where the tumor was located.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving carmustine implant,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to carmustine or any of the ingredients in carmustine implant. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, you are taking or plan to take.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while receiving carmustine implant, call your doctor. Carmustine may harm the fetus.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What side effects can this medicine cause?
Carmustine implant may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- depressed mood
- drowsiness or sleepiness
- extreme tiredness or weakness
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- severe headache, stiff neck, fever, and chills
- slowed healing of wounds
- sore throat; cough; fever; flu-like symptoms; warm, red, or painful skin; or other signs of infection
- swelling of feet, hands, or face
- unable to move one side of the body
- severe bleeding
- impaired speech
- chest pain
Carmustine implant may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to carmustine implant.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.