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Carmustine Solution for injection

It interferes with the growth of rapidly growing cells like cancer cells

Generic Name: carmustine  |  Brand Name: BiCNU

Brand Names: BiCNU

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

    Warning Information for IV Carmustine
  • Use under supervision of a qualified clinician experienced in therapy with antineoplastic agents.
  • Risk of bone marrow suppression (e.g., thrombocytopenia, leukopenia), resulting in bleeding and infection. Bone marrow toxicity is delayed and cumulative. Monitor CBCs weekly during and for at least 6 weeks following each dose; do not administer more frequently than every 6 weeks. Adjust subsequent dosages based on nadir blood counts from previous dose. (See Dosage Modification for Toxicity under Dosage and Administration.)
  • Risk of dose-related pulmonary toxicity. Cumulative doses >1400 mg/m2 associated with substantially greater risk. Delayed pulmonary toxicity can occur years after treatment and result in death, particularly in patients treated during childhood.

What is this medicine?

CARMUSTINE, BCNU (kar MUS teen) is a chemotherapy drug. It interferes with the growth of rapidly growing cells like cancer cells. This medicine is used to treat brain tumors, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin's disease, and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
  • low blood counts like low platelets, red blood cells, or white blood cells
  • lung disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to carmustine, BCNU, other chemotherapy, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This drug is given as an infusion or injection into a vein. It is administered in a hospital or clinic by a specially trained health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • cimetidine
  • medicines to increase blood counts like filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, sargramostim
  • other chemotherapy drugs
  • some medicines for seizures like ethotoin, fosphenytoin, phenytoin
  • vaccines

Talk to your doctor or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:

  • acetaminophen
  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen
  • ketoprofen
  • naproxen

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor for checks on your progress. 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.

In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.

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. 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 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.


Last Updated: March 24, 2009
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