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lomustine

( LOW-mus-teen )
Funding:
ODB - General Benefit
  • lomustine
Other Name(s): CeeNU®
Appearance: capsule in various strengths

Medication Information Sheet
lomustine (LOW-mus-teen)
This document provides general information about your medication. It does not replace the advice of your health care professional. Always discuss your therapy with your health care professional and refer to the package insert for more details.

Other Name: CeeNU®, CCNU (Other Name)

Appearance:
capsule

in various strengths

What is this medication for?
  • For treating brain cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as other cancers, such as lung, breast, or melanoma.
What should I do before I have this medication?
  • Tell  your doctor if you have/had chickenpox (or have recently been exposed to someone who has had chickenpox), shingles or have any allergies.
  • Lomustine may harm the unborn baby.
  • Let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
  • People who have cancer  are at a higher risk of developing other cancers or blood clots. Also, some cancer medications, such as lomustine, may increase these risks. You should discuss these with your doctor.
How will this medication affect sex, pregnancy and breastfeeding?
  • Do not use lomustine if you are pregnant. If there is ANY chance that you or your partner may become pregnant, you and your partner together must:► Use 2 effective forms of birth control at the same time while on lomustine. Do not take birth control pills if you have breast cancer. Keep using birth control until 6 months after the last dose (general recommendation). Discuss with your healthcare team.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant.
  • Do not breastfeed while on lomustine treatment.
  • Effects on Fertility: Probable
  • Effects on Fertility: Probable
How is this medication given?
  • Take it exactly as directed by your doctor. Make sure you understand the instructions.

  • Do not crush or open the capsules.

 

  • Lomustine is taken by mouth as a single dose (may be a combination of different capsule strengths). It is usually taken on a 6-week cycle.
  • Swallow whole with a glass of water on an empty stomach, two hours after food or other medications. Do not drink or eat anything for 2 hours afterwards. Taking lomustine with meals may increase side effects.
  • Your may need capsules of more than 1 strength to have the correct dose. Ensure you identify the capsules correctly to get the right dose.
What else do I need to know while on this medication?
  • This medication can interact with other medications and can result in the treatment not working as well or cause severe side effects.

  • Make sure your health care team knows about all your medications (prescription, over-the-counter, herbals and supplements). Check with your health care team before starting or stopping any of them.

How should I safely store this medication?
  • Keep this medication in the original packaging at room temperature in a dry place, away from heat and light. Keep out of sight and reach of children and pets.

  • Do not throw out any unused drugs at home. Bring them to your pharmacy for safe disposal.
What are the side effects of this medication?

The following side effects are common or severe. You may not have all of the side effects. Other side effects may occur. If you have any unusual or bothersome symptoms, discuss with your doctor.
 

Side effects and what to do When to contact doctor?
More Common Side Effects

Unusual bleeding or bruising

You may have black stools, cough up blood, blood in your urine, purple or red dots on your skin or bleeding that will not stop. 

 

 

 

Fever, chills, infection

You have a fever if your temperature taken in your mouth (oral temperature) is:

  • 38.3°C (100.9°F) or higher at any time OR
  • 38.0°C (100.4°F) or higher for at least one hour.

While you are getting chemotherapy treatments:

  • Keep a digital thermometer at home and take your temperature if you feel hot or unwell (for example, chills).
  • Avoid taking medications that treat a fever before you take your temperature (for example, Tylenol®, acetaminophen, Advil® or ibuprofen) as they may hide a fever.
  • Do not eat or drink anything hot or cold right before taking your temperature.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Check with your doctor before getting any vaccines, surgeries or visiting your dentist.

If you have a fever, talk to your health care team or go to the closest emergency room. 
See our Neutropenia (Low white blood cell count) pamphlet for more information.

Get emergency medical help right away

Nausea and vomiting

  • May occur in hours to days after the dose is given/ after treatment starts.
  • Drink clear fluids and avoid large meals. Get fresh air and rest.
  • Limit spicy, fried foods or foods with a strong smell.
  • Take anti-nausea drug(s) exactly as directed by your doctor. It is easier to prevent nausea than to treat it.
  • Contact your doctor if nausea lasts more than 1 day or if any vomiting occurs.
  • Also see Nausea & Vomiting pamphlet.*
Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Side effects and what to do When to contact doctor?
Less Common Side Effects, but may be Severe

Liver problems
(yellow skin or eyes, dark urine)

Get emergency medical help right away

Eye problems
(blurred vision or other unusual changes with your sight)

Contact your health care team as soon as possible (office hours)

Effects on the brain
(confusion, speech disorder)

Contact your health care team as soon as possible (office hours)

Lung problems
(increased cough, breathing problems, chest pain, coughing blood)

Get emergency medical help right away

Kidney problems
(lower back pain, body swelling)

  • Also look for passing little or no urine, darkening or blood in urine, or recent unusual weight gain.
Get emergency medical help right away

For more links on how to manage your symptoms go to www.cancercare.on.ca/symptoms.

The information set out in the medication information sheets, regimen information sheets, and symptom management information (for patients) contained in the Drug Formulary (the "Formulary") is intended to be used by health professionals and patients for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or side effects of a certain drug, nor should it be used to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for a given condition.

A patient should always consult a healthcare provider if he/she has any questions regarding the information set out in the Formulary. The information in the Formulary is not intended to act as or replace medical advice and should not be relied upon in any such regard. All uses of the Formulary are subject to clinical judgment and actual prescribing patterns may not follow the information provided in the Formulary.