What is GLEOSTINE?
(GLEOSTINE) This medication is used to treat various types of cancer. Lomustine belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
How should I use GLEOSTINE?
See also Warning section. Take this medication by mouth as a single dose as directed by your doctor, usually once every 6 weeks. Your dose may consist of 2 or more different strengths/colors of capsules. To prevent nausea and vomiting, take this medication on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 to 3 hours after a meal with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Swallow the capsules whole. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, body size, and lab tests. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Wear rubber or latex gloves when you handle the capsules. Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the capsules.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take GLEOSTINE?
Before taking lomustine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: current infection, blood disorder (such as anemia, clotting problem), kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease. Lomustine can make you more likely to get infections or may make current infections worse. Stay away from anyone who has an infection that may easily spread (such as chickenpox, COVID-19, measles, flu). Talk to your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details. Tell your health care professional that you are using lomustine before having any immunizations/vaccinations. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose). To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using lomustine. Lomustine may harm an unborn baby. Women of childbearing age should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 2 weeks after the last dose. Men with female partners of childbearing age should use reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 4 months after the last dose. If you or your partner becomes pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication. Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the capsules. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug and for 2 weeks after treatment is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
What may interact with GLEOSTINE?
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
What should I watch for while using GLEOSTINE?
Lomustine decreases bone marrow function, an effect (possibly fatal) that may lead to a low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. This effect can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, or cause easy bruising/bleeding. These side effects usually occur 4 to 6 weeks after your dose and may last for 1 to 2 weeks. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: unusual tiredness, pale skin, signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills), easy bruising/bleeding. Your doctor will closely monitor you and perform weekly blood tests for at least 6 weeks after each dose. Your dose and any further treatment will be based on your blood tests. Due to serious side effects, do not take this medication more often than once every 6 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
What if I miss a dose of GLEOSTINE?
It is important to take each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist right away for a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What side effects may I notice from receiving GLEOSTINE?
See also Warning section. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, or mouth/lip sores may occur. Nausea and vomiting usually last for less than 24 hours and loss of appetite may last for several days. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: confusion, swelling of lower legs/feet, vision changes. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: stomach/abdominal pain that doesn't go away, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine, pink urine). A severe (sometimes fatal) lung problem (pulmonary fibrosis) has occurred in people taking this drug. This condition can occur months to years after you start taking this medication. Get medical help right away if you experience any of these serious side effects: cough, chest pain, difficult/painful breathing. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Where should I keep GLEOSTINE?
Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature away from light and moisture. Avoid too much heat. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.