Lomustine is used on its own, or together with other medicines or after a surgery and/or radiation therapy to treat certain types of cancer of the brain, lungs, or skin.
This medicine may also be used together with other medicines to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a type of cancer that starts from white blood cells called lymphocytes) in patients who have failed a previous therapy.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Lomustine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take it on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Lomustine is available as a capsule. Swallow it whole with a glass of water. Do not open, break or chew the capsule.
This medicine comes in various strengths. Each strength has a different colour. The dose will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the dosage and course of the treatment depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Lomustine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of a failed treatment with a similar type of medicine
- blood disorders e.g. severe bone marrow depression (a condition in which the blood cells are low)
- severe kidney disease
- coeliac disease (your body cannot digest gluten) or wheat allergy
as Lomustine may not be suitable for you.
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while on Lomustine therapy, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child.
Men should not father a child while being treated with this medicine. Both men and women must use proven birth control methods during Lomustine therapy and for at least 6 months after stopping the treatment. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine and for at least 2 weeks after stopping the treatment.
Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. You must avoid any vaccinations without consulting with your doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- lung capacity problems
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Lomustine to a child. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.
This medicine may reduce fertility in men. Talk to your doctor about possible precautions like sperm conservation before you start treatment with Lomustine.
Do not let the capsule or its contents be in contact with your skin. Make sure that you wear gloves when handling the capsule. Do not touch it with your bare hands.
Rinse immediately with soap and water after handling this medicine and if the capsule powder accidentally comes in contact with your skin.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Pregnancy tests must be done before treatment initiation to know if this medicine is suited for you to take.
- Routine tests (e.g. blood tests, liver, kidney and lung function test) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring for signs and symptoms of abnormal bleeding and infection may also be needed.
Lomustine may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, mouth sore, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, feeling confused, hair loss, and some problems with your eyesight.
This medicine may cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- cimetidine (medicine used to reduce stomach acid production)
- theophylline (medicine used for asthma)
- phenobarbital (medicines for epilepsy, fits or seizures)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Lomustine.
Avoid vaccinations during treatment with this medicine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Protect from light and moisture.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired capsules to the clinic, hospital, or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.