This medication is used to treat certain types of brain cancer. It is a chemotherapy drug that works by stopping the growth of cancer cells. In some patients, temozolomide decreases the size of brain tumors.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may also be used to treat other types of cancer (such as bone cancer).
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using temozolomide and each time you receive the medication. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. It is usually given over 90 minutes. The dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.
There are different schedules for this medication. Follow the dosing schedule carefully as directed by your doctor to get the most benefit from the drug. To help you remember, mark your calendar to keep track of when to receive the next dose.
Other medications (such as antibiotics) may also be prescribed to help prevent infection in your body or to prevent side effects. Take these medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, mouth sores, changes in taste, coughing, constipation, tiredness, headache, and pain/redness/swelling at the injection site may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.
Many people using this medication have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
This medication may cause very serious blood disorders (such as decreased bone marrow function). It may also rarely cause another form of cancer (of the bone marrow). Consult your doctor for more details. These effects can decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, cause your body to bruise or bleed easier, or cause anemia. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following: signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, unusual tiredness, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizures, symptoms of liver damage (such as persistent loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before receiving temozolomide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to dacarbazine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors or nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to lower the risk of bleeding gums.
Older adults and women may be at greater risk for blood disorders while using this drug.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy (in female patients and female partners of male patients) while using this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) while receiving this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, or if your partner becomes pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: nalidixic acid.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, unusual tiredness.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count, liver function, brain scan) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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