Gliadel Wafer - Carmustine Implant
What is this medication?
CARMUSTINE (kar MUS teen) treats brain cancer. It works by slowing down the growth of cancer cells.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Gliadel
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- An unusual or allergic reaction to carmustine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- If you or your partner are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is placed into the space made when a tumor is removed. It is administered during surgery in a hospital.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
This does not apply.
What may interact with this medication?
Interactions are not expected.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. You may need blood work while taking this medication.
Talk to your care team if you or your partner wish to become pregnant or think either of you might be pregnant. This medication can cause serious birth defects for 6 months after it is implanted. A negative pregnancy test is required before it is implanted. A reliable form of contraception is recommended for 6 months after the medication is implanted. Talk to your care team about effective forms of contraception. Do not father a child for 3 months after this medication is implanted. Use a condom during sex during this time period.
Do not breast-feed for at least 7 days after this medication is implanted.
This medication may cause infertility. Talk to your care team if you are concerned about your fertility.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Fever, neck pain or stiffness, sensitivity to light, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion
- Increased pressure around the brain—severe headache, blurry vision, change in vision, nausea, vomiting
- Site infection—skin redness, swelling, warmth, or pain around implant site
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Unusual weakness or fatigue
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
This medication is given in a hospital. It will not be stored at home.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Gliadel Wafer
- You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
- If you should experience nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small frequent meals. Sucking on lozenges and chewing gum may also help.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 30 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- Remain active as you are able.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.
When to contact your doctor or health care provider:
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) of higher, chills (possible signs of infection).
- Drainage from surgery site.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or blurred eyesight.
- Chest pain.
- Neck stiffness
- Having thoughts or feeling like you may want to harm yourself or others.
- Shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing, closing up of the throat, swelling of facial features, hives (possible allergic reaction).
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication).
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period).
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Blood in the urine
- Pain or burning with urination
- Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities).
- Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers).
- Constipation unrelieved by laxative use.
- Swelling, redness and/or pain in one leg or arm and not the other.
- Signs of infection such as redness or swelling, pain on swallowing, coughing up mucous, or painful urination.
- Unable to eat or drink for 24 hours or have signs of dehydration: tiredness, thirst, dry mouth, dark and decrease amount of urine, or dizziness.
- Depressed (interfering with your ability to carry on your regular activities).
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.