This medication is an implant used to treat certain types of brain tumors (such as malignant glioma). The implant is a combination product (wafer) made of carmustine and polifeprosan 20. Carmustine belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. Polifeprosan 20 helps control the release of carmustine in the brain.
How to use Gliadel Wafer
The number of implants (wafers) placed is based on the amount of space in the brain. Usually, up to 8 wafers may be placed at one time during surgery.
People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, you have been prescribed this drug because your doctor 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 right away if you have any serious side effects, including: swelling/redness/warmth or poor healing at surgery site, signs of infection (such as fever, stiff neck), chest pain, mental/mood changes (such as depression, anxiety), signs of high fluid pressure within the skull (such as severe headache, confusion, vision changes), weakness.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizure.
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 any 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 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.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using carmustine. Carmustine may harm an unborn baby. Women should ask about reliable forms of birth control for at least 6 months after the implant is placed. Men should ask about reliable forms of birth control for at least 3 months after the implant is placed. If you or your partner becomes pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended for at least 7 days after the implant is placed. 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.
This medication may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has swallowed it and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center 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.
Lab and/or medical tests should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments.
Not applicable. This product is used in a hospital and will not be stored at home.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.