Lomustine is used in treatment of brain tumors and Hodgkin's disease (cancer that starts in blood cells that are part of immune system) that is not responding to other conventional treatments. It is also used in various other types of cancers in combination with other medicines/ radiotherapy/ surgery.
How it works
Lomustine is an alkylating agent that belongs to a group of medicines called nitrosoureas. It slows down or stops the multiplication of cancer cells in body.
Common side effects
Decreased urination, Persistent dry cough, Shortness of breath, Hair loss, Loss of appetite, Mouth ulcer, Nausea, Slurred speech, Vomiting, Walking difficulties
- Take lomustine as recommended by your doctor preferably on empty stomach.
- Take precautions as lomustine is known to lower the white blood cells and platelets in blood that will make you more prone to infections or you may bleed easily/excessively.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you observe signs of infections such as fever, chills, body ache or if you have unusual bruising or bleeding.
- Do not receive any live vaccines [for eg. measles, mumps, MMR (Rubella), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, chickenpox, zoster and influenza vaccine] while on lomustine treatment.
- Use disposable gloves while handling lomustine capsule to avoid direct contact with medicine.
- Use appropriate contraceptive measures while on lomustine treatment.
- Men are advised not to father children during treatment with lomustine and for up to 6 months afterwards, and should seek advice regarding sperm conservation before the start of treatment with lomustine, as there is a chance that lomustine may cause permanent infertility in men.
- You may need to undergo frequent blood tests and kidney/lung/liver function tests to evaluate drugs effect on your body.
- Contact your doctor if you observe severe side effects such as chest discomfort, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, dry cough, wheezing, reduced/no urination, yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice), pale skin, inability to concentrate.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Is lomustine effective?
Lomustine is effective if taken as per the dose and for the duration prescribed by a doctor. It may be used in combination with other drugs/radiotherapy or surgery to get best results. Follow your doctor’s instructions about this treatment carefully.
Q. How fast does lomustine work?
Lomustine treatment includes administration of medicine in several sessions/cycles. Each cycle of lomustine is usually a single oral dose given every 6-8 weeks. Duration of treatment may depend upon the type of cancer and body’s response to the medicine. Total treatment with lomustine may run over a few months.
Q. How long does lomustine stay in the body?
Lomustine may stay in body from 16 hours to 2 days.