|Type of medicine||Antineoplastic (antitumour) agent|
|Used for||Glioblastoma multiforme
Temozolomide is used to treat glioblastoma multiforme and malignant glioma, both forms of brain cancer. In glioblastoma multiforme, temozolomide is used alongside radiotherapy, and in malignant glioma it is used when other treatments have not been successful.
Temozolomide works by preventing the growth and division of cells and therefore stops cancer cells increasing in numbers.
Before taking temozolomide
Before taking temozolomide make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you are trying for a baby or intend to have children in the future. (This applies to both men and women.)
- If you have kidney or liver problems.
- If you are over 70 years of age.
- If you have suffered from severe sickness after taking temozolomide previously.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
How to take temozolomide
- Before beginning treatment, read the information you have been given by your doctor and the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Follow the instructions you have been given with temozolomide so that you take it exactly as you have been told by your doctor. Make sure you understand which days to take a dose.
- Temozolomide should not be taken at the same time as food. This means you must take the capsules at least 1 hour before a meal, or 2 hours afterwards. Swallow the capsules whole (not chewed or opened) with a glass of water.
- Try to take temozolomide at the same time of day and try to avoid missing any doses.
- If you do forget to take a dose at the correct time, providing it is the same day, take one as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the missed dose and take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses to make up for a forgotten dose, unless your doctor tells you to.
- Temozolomide may cause you to feel or be sick. It is important that you keep taking your doses at regular times even if you begin to feel unwell.
Getting the most from your treatment
- You must avoid getting pregnant while taking temozolomide. If you are male, you must not father a child during treatment and for six months after finishing your treatment. Ask your doctor, hospital or pharmacist about suitable contraception.
- Temozolomide may reduce certain kinds of blood cells which are important for blood clotting and fighting infections. Your doctor will check your blood regularly while you are being treated with temozolomide.
- You must keep your regular appointments with the doctor and your appointments for blood tests so your progress can be monitored.
- While you are taking temozolomide and for a while after you stop treatment, do not have any immunisations (vaccinations) without talking to your doctor first. Temozolomide lowers the body's resistance and there is a chance that you may get an infection from the vaccine.
- If you are having any treatment like an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking temozolomide.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
Can temozolomide cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These may improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or clinic about any of the following side-effects.
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick||Tell your doctor about this as you can be given something to help take the sickness away. Also, eat little and often and stick to simple foods|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well balanced diet containing plenty of fibre and drink several glasses of water each day|
|Dizziness, unsteadiness, drowsiness, confusion, blurred vision||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert or able to see clearly|
|Headache||Discuss this with your doctor who may be able to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sugar-free sweets|
|Sore mouth||Try to prevent this by brushing your teeth regularly and rinsing your mouth frequently|
|Other common side-effects include: infections, oral thrush, anxiety, mood changes, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, changes in weight, difficulty hearing, swollen legs, cough, dry skin, rash, loss of hair, muscle pain or weakness, fatigue, and urinary incontinence||Discuss these with your doctor or nurse|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store temozolomide
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Store in the original bottle in order to protect the capsules from moisture.
- Do not dispose of temozolomide in household waste. Ask your pharmacy to dispose of them for you.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Temodal® Capsules; Manufacturer's PIL, Temodal® Capsules, Schering-Plough Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated October 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 23/03/2011||Document ID: 3747 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.