Highlights for temozolomide
temozolomide Side Effects
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- low blood counts - temozolomide may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
- signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
- signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine
- signs of decreased red blood cells - unusually weak or tired, fainting spells, lightheadedness
- breathing problems
- changes in vision
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- memory problems
- problems with balance, walking
- trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- bad taste in the mouth
- difficulty sleeping
- dry skin
- hair loss
- loss of appetite
temozolomide May Interact with Other Medications
- valproic acid
How to Use temozolomide
Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Do not chew, crush or open the capsules. You can take this medicine with or without food. However, you should always take it the same way each time. However, taking this medicine on an empty stomach may reduce nausea. Taking this medicine at bedtime may also reduce nausea. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- bleeding problems
- infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- recent or ongoing radiation therapy
- an unusual or allergic reaction to temozolomide, dacarbazine (DTIC), other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Call if you get diarrhea. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.
Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.
Do not open the capsules of this medicine. Breathing in or touching the powder in the capsule may be harmful. If the powder accidentally gets on your skin, wash the area thoroughly. If you have difficulty swallowing, contact your doctor or health care professional.
This drug may cause birth defects. Both men and women who are taking this medicine should use effective birth control.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature not above 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). Protect from moisture and heat. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
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Last Updated: March 4, 2009