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Bicnu

Generic Name: carmustine (kar MUS teen)
Brand Name: BiCNU, Gliadel
Physician reviewed BiCNU patient information - includes BiCNU description, dosage and directions.
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Drug Information:
BiCNU is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. BiCNU is used to treat brain tumors, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. BiCNU is sometimes given with other cancer medicines. BiCNU may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. BiCNU can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. This medicine can also cause serious lung problems. You will need frequent medical tests while receiving BiCNU. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, tiredness, weakness, or breathing problems. Learn more

Bicnu Side Effects

BiCNU Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about carmustine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name BiCNU.

For the Consumer

Applies to carmustine: implantation implant

Other dosage forms:

  • intravenous powder for solution

Along with its needed effects, carmustine (the active ingredient contained in BiCNU) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking carmustine:

More common

  • Blurred vision
  • change in ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
  • confusion
  • fever
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • problems with movement, walking, or speech
  • seizures
  • trouble healing

Less common

  • Drowsiness
  • general feeling of illness
  • severe headache
  • stiff neck or back

Some side effects of carmustine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • back pain
  • bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • discouragement
  • feeling sad or empty
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • lower back or side pain
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping

Less common

  • Chest pain

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to carmustine: implant device, intravenous powder for injection

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Pneumonia, pulmonary embolism

Frequency not reported: Pulmonary toxicity (IV formulation)

Hematologic

Frequency not reported: Myelosuppression (IV formulation)

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Nausea, vomiting, constipation

Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain

Postmarketing reports: Diarrhea, anorexia

Hepatic

Postmarketing reports: Increased transaminase, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased bilirubin

Renal

Postmarketing reports: Progressive azotemia, decrease in kidney size, renal failure

Cardiovascular

Postmarketing reports: Tachycardia, chest pain, Veno-occlusive disease

Local

Frequency not reported: Administration reactions (IV formulation)

Postmarketing reports: Burning sensation

Other

Very common (10% or more): Asthenia, fever

Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain

Frequency not reported: Wafer migration (wafer formulation)

Ocular

Frequency not reported: Ocular toxicity (IV formulation)

Postmarketing reports: Conjunctival edema, conjunctival hemorrhage, blurred vision, loss of depth perception

Oncologic

Postmarketing reports: Acute leukemia, bone marrow dysplasia

Immunologic

Very common (10% or more): Impaired neurosurgical wound healing (wafer formulation) (16%)

Common (1% to 10%): Meningitis (wafer formulation)

Postmarketing reports: Opportunistic infection (sometimes fatal)

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Back pain

Metabolic

Postmarketing reports: Diabetes mellitus

Psychiatric

Very common (10% or more): Confusion, depression

Common (1% to 10%): Anxiety, thinking abnormal, hallucinations, insomnia, personality disorder

Genitourinary

Very common (10% or more): Urinary tract infection

Nervous system

(wafer formulation) (23%), aphasia, somnolence, speech disorder

Common (1% to 10%): Intracranial hypertension (wafer formulation), brain abscess (wafer formulation), brain cyst (wafer formulation), hydrocephalus (wafer formulation), cerebral edema (wafer formulation), amnesia, facial paralysis, ataxia, hypesthesia, paresthesia, abnormal gait, dizziness, tremor, coma, hypokinesia

Postmarketing reports: Headache, encephalopathy

Dermatologic

Very common (10% or more): Rash

Postmarketing reports: Hyperpigmentation, swelling, erythema, skin necrosis, alopecia, allergic reaction

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by USARx EDITORIAL TEAM Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Bicnu (www.drugs.com/mtm/bicnu.html).