This medication is used with brain surgery and radiation to treat a certain type of brain tumor ( malignant glioma). It is also used with surgery to treat a type of malignant glioma (glioblastoma multiforme) that comes back.
Carmustine works by stopping the growth of tumor cells. It helps to kill any leftover tumor cells that are not taken out by the surgery. Polifeprosan 20 works by controlling the release of carmustine into the area where the brain tumor was taken out.
This medication is placed by a surgeon during brain surgery into the area where the brain tumor was taken out. The implant will dissolve slowly, releasing the medication to the surrounding area. Follow all your doctor's instructions on what to do before and after surgery.
The number of implants placed is based on the size of the area to cover. The maximum recommended dose is 8 implants placed at each surgery.
Many people using this medication have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this medication 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.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: swelling/redness/warmth at surgery site, wound at surgery site that is opening or not healing properly, signs of an infection (e.g., fever), chest pain, mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, anxiety).
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these unlikely but very serious side effects occur: seizures, severe headache, extreme tiredness/weakness, confusion, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, stiff neck, fainting.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention 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 any other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before receiving carmustine/polifeprosan 20, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; 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.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
It is not known whether 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.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.
Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., wound exams) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Store in a freezer at or below -4 degrees F (-20 degrees C). Unopened foil pouches may be kept at room temperature for up to 6 hours. Consult your pharmacist for details. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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