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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel)?
You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to it.
To make sure you can safely receive carmustine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
It is not known whether carmustine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are being treated with carmustine.
How is carmustine given (BiCNU, Gliadel)?
Carmustine is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Carmustine must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take at least 2 hours to complete.
Carmustine is usually given once every 6 weeks. You may be given either a single injection or multiple injections over a 2-day period. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning or pain around the IV needle when carmustine is injected.
Carmustine can cause nausea and vomiting that may last up to 6 hours after your injection. You may be given anti-nausea medications to help prevent these side effects.
Carmustine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.
To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested weekly for at least 6 weeks after you receive a dose of carmustine. This medication can have long-lasting effects on your body. Your kidneys, liver, and lung function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor for blood or urine tests.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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