Lomustine (By mouth)
Treats Hodgkin's disease, brain tumors, and other kinds of cancers, often in combination with other medicines. Also called CCNU. This medicine is an alkylating agent.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to lomustine, or if you are pregnant.
How to Use This Medicine
- 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 tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- You may have two or more different capsules that make up your dose. If so, you can take all of the capsules at once. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about this before you take the medicine.
- Take the medicine on an empty stomach. Your doctor may tell you to take the medicine at bedtime to keep you from having nausea.
- After you take your dose, you will not take any more of the medicine for at least 6 weeks.
- Wear gloves when touching the capsules. Do not break, crush, or open the capsules. If any of this medicine gets on your skin or in your nose or mouth, wash the area with soap and water right away. If the medicine gets in your eyes, wash them with water right away and call your doctor.
- You may also receive medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.
- If you vomit after taking your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Your unborn baby could be harmed if you use this medicine while you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease, bone marrow problems (anemia, leukopenia), chicken pox, shingles, or any type of infection.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- 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.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
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
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Decrease in how much or how often you urinate.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
- Severe diarrhea.
- Shortness of breath or trouble with breathing.
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
- Swelling of feet or lower legs.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Blurred vision.
- Hair loss.
- Loss of appetite.
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
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 Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013