Temozolomide Capsules is the trade name for temozolomide. In some cases, health care professionals may use the trade name Nulblast when referring to the generic drug name temozolomide. Drug type: Temozolomide is an anti-cancer ("antineoplastic" or "cytotoxic") chemotherapy drug. This medication is classified as an "alkylating agent." (For more detail, see "How this drug works" section below).
What This Drug Is Used For:
- Treatment of anaplastic astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) (types of brain tumors).
How This Drug Is Given:
- If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
- This medication is given in a capsule form by mouth. Capsules come in 5 mg, 20 mg, 100 mg, 250 mg, sizes. Your health care provider will calculate your daily dosage for you (the combination and number of each pill size.)
- Take on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after meals or at bedtime) to reduce stomach upset.
- Do not open, crush, or chew capsules; swallow capsules whole with full 8 ounces of water.
- The frequency and the amount of this medication you will receive depends on many factors, including your height and weight, your general health or other health problems, and the type of cancer you have. Your doctor will determine your dosage and schedule.
Important things to remember about the side effects of temozolomide:
- Most people do not experience all of the side effects listed.
- Side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset and duration.
- Side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after treatment is complete.
- There are many options to help minimize or prevent side effects.
- There is no relationship between the presence or severity of side effects and the effectiveness of the medication.
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking temozolomide:
- Nausea and vomiting
These side effects are less common side effects (occurring in about 10-29%) of patients receiving temozolomide:
- Low blood counts. Your white and red blood cells and platelets may temporarily decrease. This can put you at increased risk for infection, anemia and/or bleeding. This side effect is not common but can be severe. Your blood counts will be monitored routinely throughout treatment.
- Swelling (edema)
- Central neurotoxicity; dizziness, problems with balance, weakness to one side of body (hemiparesis), seizures, or excessive sleepiness. When used in treatment of brain tumors it is difficult to distinguish if these effects are due more to medication or disease.
- Skin rash
- Although uncommon, tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are experiencing an adverse reaction to this drug, such as fever, chills, shortness of breath, facial flushing.