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Last reviewed on RxList: 4/11/2017
Bicnu Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 04/11/2017

BiCNU (carmustine) is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication used to treat brain tumors, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and is sometimes given with other cancer medications. Common side effects of BiCNU include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • headache,
  • flushing, or
  • injection site reactions (pain, swelling, redness, or darkened skin color).

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of BiCNU including:

  • dark urine,
  • yellowing eyes or skin,
  • severe stomach or abdominal pain,
  • changes in the amount of urine,
  • vision changes,
  • fast heartbeat, or
  • dizziness.

The recommended dose of BiCNU as a single agent in previously untreated patients is 150 to 200 mg/m intravenously every 6 weeks. This may be given as a single dose or divided into daily injections such as 75 to 100 mg/m2 on 2 successive days. BiCNU may interact with cimetidine. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. BiCNU is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. Consult your doctor to discuss using at least 2 forms of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pills) while using this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breastfeeding while using this drug is not recommended.

Our BiCNU (carmustine) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Bicnu Consumer Information

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, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • drowsiness, confusion, mood changes, increased thirst, swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath;
  • severe burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given; or
  • redness of your eyes or skin and severe warmth or tingling under your skin (within 2 to 4 hours after your carmustine injection).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;
  • headache; or
  • mild pain, swelling, redness, or darkened skin color where the injection was given.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Bicnu (Carmustine)

Bicnu Professional Information


The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

The following adverse reactions associated with the use of BiCNU were identified in clinical studies or postmarketing reports. Because some of these reactions were reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Cardiac Disorders

Tachycardia and chest pain.

Eye Disorders

Conjunctival edema, conjunctival hemorrhage, blurred vision and loss of depth perception

Gastrointestinal Toxicity

Nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and diarrhea


Increased transaminase, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased bilirubin levels

Infections And Infestations

Opportunistic infection (including with fatal outcome).

Neoplasms Benign, Malignant And Unspecified (Including Cysts And polyps)

Acute leukemia, bone marrow dysplasias.


Progressive azotemia, decrease in kidney size, renal failure

Nervous System Disorders

Headaches, encephalopathy, and seizures

Pulmonary Toxicity

Pneumonitis, interstitial lung disease

Reproductive System And Breast Disorders


Skin And Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders

Burning sensation, hyperpigmentation, swelling, pain, erythema, skin necrosis, alopecia, allergic reaction

Vascular Disorders

Veno-occlusive disease.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Bicnu (Carmustine)

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© Bicnu Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Bicnu Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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