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Known interactions

No interactions found.

Introduction into Carmustine Wafers

Brand Name(s): Gliadel

Generic Name Carmustine Wafers

What are Carmustine, BCNU wafers?

CARMUSTINE, BCNU (Gliadel®) wafers are used for treating brain tumors. Carmustine interferes with cell growth of rapidly growing cells such as cancer cells and eventually causes them to die. Carmustine wafers are used after surgery to remove the brain tumor. The wafers are placed at the site where the tumor used to be and then release carmustine directly at the site to help to prevent the tumor from coming back and to kill any remaining tumor cells. The wafers are made out of a material that is broken down by the body over time. Generic carmustine wafers are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive Carmustine, BCNU wafers?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • bleeding problems
  • blood disorders
  • infection (especially virus infection such as chickenpox or herpes)
  • an unusual reaction to Carmustine, BCNU, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should this medicine be used?

Carmustine wafers are used during surgery following resection of a brain tumor. The neurosurgeon will place up to 8 wafers in the space where the tumor was located. The wafers will slowly breakdown over time after they have treated the area with the chemotherapy agent, carmustine.

What if I miss a dose?

This dose not apply.

What drug(s) may interact with Carmustine, BCNU wafers?

There are no known drug interactions with Carmustine wafers.

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from receiving Carmustine, BCNU?

The side effects you may experience with carmustine therapy depend upon the dose, other types of chemotherapy or radiation therapy given, and the disease being treated. Not all of these effects occur in all patients. Discuss any concerns or questions with your prescriber or health care professional.

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • confusion, changes in personality, agitation, abnormal thinking
  • headache
  • seizures
  • signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
  • vision changes including double vision

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • difficulty sleeping
  • tremor
  • hair loss
  • nausea, vomiting
  • skin rash

What should I watch for while taking Carmustine, BCNU wafers?

Visit your prescriber or health care professional for checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood checks. The side effects of carmustine can continue after you finish your treatment; report side effects promptly. Make sure to follow all of the instructions given to you by your health care provider following your surgery.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Carmustine wafers are only used during surgery. You will not take this medicine at home.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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