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Temozolomide

Chemotherapy

Brand names:

Temodar®

Other names:

TMZ

Often used for:

Brain tumors, Sarcomas

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About Temozolomide

Temozolomide is a type of chemotherapy. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cells. The schedule and dose depend on the type of cancer, child’s age, and how well the cancer responds to treatment.

Patients will have regular blood draws to check blood counts and monitor liver and kidney function.

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May be taken as a capsule by mouth

 
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May be given as a liquid into a vein by IV

 
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Possible Side Effects

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood counts (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia and/or fatigue)
  • Hair loss
  • Skin irritation, rash
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mouth sores
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Liver problems
  • Easy bruising

Not all patients who take temozolomide 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 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 etoposide include:

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Tips for Families

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

  • Temozolomide is usually taken daily for 5 days followed by a period of rest and repeated every 21-28 days.
  • A doctor may prescribe medicine to reduce nausea and vomiting.
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 6 months after completion of therapy.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Caregivers should follow instructions for safe handling and disposal of the medicine and avoid contact with patient body fluids. Patient body fluids can contain the drug for 48 hours after it is given.

Temozolomide at home:

  • This medicine is usually taken once a day. Take the medicine at the same time each day.
  • Taking temozolomide at bedtime on an empty stomach may help prevent nausea.
  • Tell a doctor if your child vomits after taking temozolomide. Do not give another dose on the same day.
  • Store capsules at room temperature.
  • Capsules should be swallowed whole. Do not crush, chew, or break before swallowing. Take with a glass of water.
  • If a child is unable to swallow the capsules, the powder from the capsule may be mixed into a small amount of apple juice or applesauce. Caregivers should wear gloves when handling open capsules.
  • A combination of capsules may be needed for the correct dose. Be sure you know what each capsule looks like and how many capsules of each you should take.
  • In the case of a missed dose, do not make up doses or give 2 doses on the same day.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.