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April 24, 2021

Temozolomide is a chemotherapy medicine used to treat certain types of brain cancer. This medicine is available as a 100 mg capsule for oral use. The U.S. FDA has already approved this prescription for medical use.

What condition does Temozolomide treat?

Temozolomide is a prescription medicine that is in the class of drugs called alkylating agents. This is used in:

  • Brain tumors such as anaplastic astrocytoma or glioblastoma multiforme in adults and children over three years of age. This medication is given when the brain tumor has come back or progressed after other standard treatment.
  • Newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme in adults. This medicine is usually used along with radiotherapy.


How does Temozolomide work?

Cancer forms after some cells within the body reproduce abnormally and uncontrollably. These cells spread and destroy the nearby tissues. This medication works by preventing the cells that cause cancer from growing and developing. It stops the cancer cells by binding to and damaging the DNA in the cancer cells. This stops the cells from developing and increasing.

However, Temozolomide can also affect normal and healthy cells mainly those that grow quickly such as hair cells and blood cells. the most significant side effect is on the bone marrow where blood cells are made. This drug can reduce the production of blood cells that leaves people susceptible to infection. Therefore, regular blood tests are needed to monitor the levels of blood cells.


What is the dosage of Temozolomide?

  • Temozolomide should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. The medicine must not be opened or chewed. Each dose must be taken on an empty stomach. The presence of food in the stomach may make the medicine less effective.
  • Do not open the capsules. Avoid contact with the powder with your nose, eyes, and skin if a capsule is damaged. If you unintentionally get some in your nose or eyes, rinse them right away with water. Also, avoid inhaling the powder of the drug.
  • It is very essential to follow the directions given by your doctor for how often to take the medicine and the number of capsules you need to take. Treatment with this prescription is usually given in more than a few cycles of treatment. The number of cycles and the length of your treatment you have are based on the type of cancer you’re being treated for, how well your body tolerates the treatment, what other treatments are being used, and how well cancer responds.
  • If you vomit after taking a dose of Temozolomide, you need to tell your doctor. Do not take a second dose the same day. If this medication makes you vomit often, it is best to talk to your doctor about taking other medications that can control this.


What are the precautions in using Temozolomide?

  • Before starting treatment with this medication, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking including over-the-counter, prescription, herbal remedies, or vitamins. You should not take aspirin or products that have aspirin unless your doctor tells you to do so.
  • Do not receive any kind of vaccination or immunization without the approval of your doctor while taking Temozolomide.
  • Let your doctor know if you’ve had an allergic reaction to this medicine or dacarbazine in the past. If you had any of these, you may not be able to take Temozolomide.
  • Do not breastfeed while having this treatment.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant before starting this treatment, inform your doctor.  Also, do not get pregnant while taking Temozolomide. Barrier methods of contraception are recommended. Talk about this matter with your doctor when you may safely conceive a child or become pregnant after therapy.
  • While you are taking Temozolomide, you will be checked regularly by your doctor. It is to check your response to therapy and monitor side effects.  Periodic blood work to monitor your complete blood count, as well as the function of other organs, will also be ordered by your doctor.
  • Your platelets, red and white blood cells might be temporarily decreased.  This may put you at increased risk for infection.  This side effect is not common however it can also be severe.  Your blood counts will be checked regularly throughout treatment.

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