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Carmustine is used to treat brain tumors, multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer), Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s disease (white blood cell cancer), and cancer of skin pigment cells called melanocytes.

How it works

Carmustine belongs to a class of drugs called alkylating agents. It is an anticancer agent that works by interfering with DNA structure of cancer cells  thus preventing its growth.

Common side effects

Nausea, Abdominal pain, Aggravation of depression, Facial swelling, Allergic reaction, Memory loss, Anxiety, Back pain, Pain in anal region, Pelvic pain, Blurred vision, Chest pain, Confusion, Constipation, Convulsion, Diarrhoea, Fever, Hair loss, Hallucination, Headache, Lung infection, Urinary tract infection, Weakness


Expert advice

  • Caution is to be exercised by patients with bone marrow suppression, breathing problems or lung disease and elderly patients.
  • Carmustine lowers immune response making you susceptible to infections. Therefore avoid contact with people suffering from cold or infections.
  • Carmustine reduces body’s ability to clot blood. Hence, in case of injury /bruising or presence of blood in the stools notify your doctor.
  • Do not consume this drug if you are allergic to carmustine or any of its ingredients.
  • Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is carmustine safe?
Carmustine is safe if taken at prescribed dose and duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Is carmustine a vesicant?
Carmustine is classified under irritants amongst chemotherapy drugs. However when administered at high doses it can act as vesicant.
Q. Does carmustine inhibit DNA replication?
Yes, Carmustine works by preventing DNA replication.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)