Lomustine

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Lomustine Brand Name(s): Lomustine.

Uses

What is lomustine used for?

Lomustine is commonly used for the treatment of many kinds of cancer, including:

Lomustine is used for other purposes, ask your doctor for more information.

How should I take lomustine?

Take lomustine by mouth with or without food. Taking it on an empty stomach may reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting. Swallow it whole. Do not chew or crush.

Wear gloves when you handle lomustine to decrease the risk of getting it on your skin or on other items. If skin contact occurs, wash the area thoroughly.

Lomustine is usually taken as a single dose only once every 6 weeks. You may receive 2 or more types or colors of capsules. Be sure you understand exactly how much of lomustine to take and how often you should take it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

How do I store lomustine?

Lomustine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store lomustine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of lomustine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush lomustine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using lomustine?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to any ingredient in lomustine.
  • You have taken a dose of lomustine within the past 6 weeks unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • You are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement.
  • You have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances.

There is some important safety information that you may notice:

  • Do not take more than the prescribed dose or take lomustine more often than once every 6 weeks without checking with your doctor. The risk of severe and fatal bone marrow problems may be worse if you take lomustine in high doses or more often than once every 6 weeks.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite are common with lomustine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to decrease these effects if they occur. Nausea and vomiting usually go away in less than 24 hours. Loss of appetite may last for several days.
  • Lomustine may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Lomustine may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Talk with your doctor before you have any vaccines while you are taking lomustine.
  • Long-term use of lomustine may increase the risk of developing a second cancer. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Severe and sometimes fatal lung problems have happened with lomustine. Call your doctor right away if you have lung or breathing problems like trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or a cough that is new or worse.
  • Lab tests, including liver, kidney, and lung function and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you take lomustine and for 6 weeks or more after you take your last dose. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Caution is advised when using lomustine in children; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially certain lung problems (pulmonary fibrosis).

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using lomustine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking lomustine. Lomustine is pregnancy risk category D, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from lomustine?

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:

Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:

  • Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Decreased amount of urine produced
  • Decreased coordination
  • Fever, chills, or persistent sore throat
  • Sluggishness
  • Swelling of feet or lower legs
  • Swelling or sores of the mouth or tongue
  • Symptoms of liver problems (e.g., dark urine; pale stools; right-sided stomach pain; unusual loss of appetite, nausea, or tiredness; yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Trouble speaking
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vision changes (e.g., blindness)

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with lomustine?

Lomustine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with lomustine?

Lomustine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with lomustine?

Lomustine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Especially if any of the followings apply to you:

  • A history of bone marrow, heart, lung, breathing, liver, or kidney problems
  • A bacterial, fungal, or viral infection (e.g., shingles, chickenpox)
  • Undergoing radiation therapy

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using lomustine.

What is the dose of lomustine for an adult?

The recommended dose of lomustine as a single agent in previously untreated patients is 130 mg/m2 as a single oral dose, every 6 weeks.

In individuals with compromised bone marrow function, the dose should be reduced to 100 mg/m2 every 6 weeks.

When lomustine is used in combination with other myelosuppressive drugs, the doses should be adjusted accordingly. All doses of lomustine must be rounded to the nearest 10 mg by the prescriber.

What is the dose of lomustine for a child?

The recommended dose of lomustine as a single agent in previously untreated patients is 130 mg/m2 as a single oral dose, every 6 weeks.

In individuals with compromised bone marrow function, the dose should be reduced to 100 mg/m2 every 6 weeks.

When lomustine is used in combination with other myelosuppressive drugs, the doses should be adjusted accordingly. All doses of lomustine must be rounded to the nearest 10 mg by the prescriber.

How is lomustine available?

Lomustine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Lomustine 100 mg capsules
  • Lomustine 40 mg capsules
  • Lomustine 10 mg capsules

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of lomustine, call your doctor to find out what to do.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: March 21, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

Want to live your best life?
Get the Hello Doktor Daily newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.
You might also like