May 24, 2017
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Bicnu

"One of the most commonly used chemotherapy agents, capecitabine, can result in patients losing their finger prints, Dutch physicians warn.

The loss is temporary, however, with fingerprints returning within 2 to 4 weeks after cessation"...

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BiCNU

BiCNU®
(carmustine) For Injection




WARNING

MYELOSUPPRESSION and PULMONARY TOXICITY

Myelosuppression

BiCNU causes suppression of marrow function (including thrombocytopenia and leukopenia), which may contribute to bleeding and overwhelming infections. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS. Monitor blood counts weekly for at least 6 weeks after each dose. Adjust dosage based on nadir blood counts from the prior dose [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION. Do not administer a repeat course of BiCNU until blood counts recover.

Pulmonary Toxicity

BiCNU causes dose-related pulmonary toxicity. Patients receiving greater than 1400 mg/m2 cumulative dose are at significantly higher risk than those receiving less. Delayed pulmonary toxicity can occur years after treatment, and can result in death, particularly in patients treated in childhood [see ADVERSE REACTIONS and Use In Specific Populations.

DRUG DESCRIPTION

The active ingredient in BiCNU® (carmustine for injection) is a nitrosourea with the chemical name 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea and a molecular weight of 214.06. The drug product is supplied as sterile lyophilized pale yellow flakes or a congealed mass, and it is highly soluble in alcohol and lipids, and poorly soluble in water. BiCNU is administered by intravenous infusion after reconstitution, as recommended.

The structural formula of carmustine is:

BiCNU® (carmustine) Structural Formula Illustration

BiCNU is available in 100-mg single dose vials of lyophilized material. Sterile diluent for constitution of BiCNU is co-packaged with the active drug product for use in constitution of the lyophile. The diluent is supplied in a vial containing 3 mL of Dehydrated Alcohol Injection, USP.

What are the possible side effects of carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • new or worsening cough, fever, trouble breathing;
  • feeling short of breath on exertion;
  • chest discomfort, dry cough or hack;
  • feeling weak or tired, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose,...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of BiCNU »

What are the precautions when taking carmustine (BiCNU)?

Before using carmustine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood/bone marrow disorders, liver disease, lung disease, kidney disease, recent/current infection.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.

Wash your hands well to...

Read All Potential Precautions of BiCNU »

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/11/2017
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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