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Brand names:


Other names:

CCNU, CeeNU, Lomustinum

Often used for:

Hodgkin lymphoma, Brain tumors

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What is Lomustine?

Lomustine (CCNU, CeeNU) is a type of chemotherapy. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cells. Lomustine may be used in combination with other medicines.

Lomustine is usually given every 6 weeks by mouth. It may be used in combination with other anti-cancer medicines. Patients will have regular blood draws to check blood counts and to monitor liver and kidney function.

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Taken as a capsule by mouth

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Possible Side Effects

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood counts (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia, and/or fatigue)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Fertility problems
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Vision changes
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Lung problems

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include: hives, rash, itching, difficulty breathing and/or swallowing, low blood pressure.

Not all patients who take lomustine will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Possible Long-Term or Late Effects

Some patients may experience long-term or late effects of treatment that may continue or develop months or years after treatment ends. Possible late effects due to lomustine include:

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Two or more capsules in different strengths and colors may be needed to make up the total dose.
  • A doctor may prescribe medicine to reduce nausea and vomiting. Follow dosing instructions, as patients may need to take the medicine in advance to prevent nausea.
  • Patients with nitrosourea allergies (including carmustine) should not take this medication. Nitrosourea allergies are not the same thing as a sulfur allergy, although they may sound similar.
  • Male and female patients who are sexually active should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for a period of time after completion of therapy. Patients should ask their doctor or pharmacist about the length of time they need to prevent pregnancy after taking this medicine.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Caregivers should follow instructions for safe handling and disposal of chemotherapy and avoid contact with patient body fluids. Patient body fluids can contain the drug for 48 hours after it is given.

Lomustine at home:

  • Take lomustine on an empty stomach to help prevent nausea.
  • Swallow capsules whole. Do not open, cut, crush, or chew capsules.
  • Take all capsules as prescribed to make up the correct dose.
  • Caregivers should wear gloves when handling this medicine. If the medicine gets on your skin, wash the area right away.
  • Store lomustine at room temperature.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe handling and disposal.