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Lomustine

pronounced as(loe mus' teen)

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Lomustine can cause a severe decrease in the number of blood cells in your bone marrow. A decrease in the number of blood cells in your body may cause certain symptoms and may increase the risk that you will develop a serious infection or bleeding. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fever, sore throat, ongoing cough and congestion, or other signs of infection; unusual bleeding or bruising, bloody or black, tarry stools; bloody vomit; or vomiting blood or brown material that resembles coffee grounds.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order laboratory tests before, during, and after your treatment to check your body's response to lomustine to see if your blood cells are affected by this drug.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Lomustine is used to treat certain types of brain tumors. Lomustine is also used with other medications to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma (Hodgkin's disease) that has not improved or that has worsened after treatment with other medications. Lomustine 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?

Lomustine comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once every 6 weeks on an empty stomach. Your full dose may contain two or more different types and colors of capsules. Take all of the capsules given to you in the prescription bottle at the same time. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take lomustine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

You should wear rubber or latex gloves when you handle the capsules so that your skin does not come into contact with the capsules.

Swallow the capsules whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.

Other uses for this medicine

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This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

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Before taking lomustine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to lomustine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in lomustine capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You should not become pregnant or breast-feed while you are taking lomustine. If you become pregnant while taking lomustine, call your doctor. Lomustine may harm the fetus.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

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Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

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Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Tell your doctor if you take your dose on a different day from what was scheduled.

What side effects can this medication cause?

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Lomustine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • loss of appetite

  • sores in the mouth and throat

  • unusual tiredness or weakness

  • pale skin

  • fainting

  • hair loss

  • unsteady walk

  • slurred speech

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, stop taking lomustine and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • difficulty breathing

  • shortness of breath

  • dry cough

  • wheezing

  • decreased urination;

  • swelling of the face, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs.

  • yellowing or eyes and skin

  • confusion

  • sudden change or loss of vision

Lomustine may increase the risk that you will develop other cancers. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking lomustine.

Lomustine 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 [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

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Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

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In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • black, tarry stools

  • red urine

  • unusual bruising or bleeding

  • unusual tiredness or weakness

  • sore throat, cough, fever, or other signs of infection

  • dizziness

  • shortness of breath

  • diarrhea

  • vomiting

  • stomach pain

  • sores in the mouth and throat

What other information should I know?

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Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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.

Brand names

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  • Gleostine® (formerly available as CeeNu®)

Other names

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  • CCNU

Last Revised - 10/15/2014

ASHP Logo American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. Disclaimer

AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.