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Gliadel (Generic Carmustine Implant)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Malignant glioma is a specific type of cancerous brain tumor that is treated with carmustine implant in addition to surgery and occasionally radiation therapy. Alkylating agents are a class of drugs that includes carmustine. It functions by reducing or halting the development of cancer cells within your body.

How should this medicine be used?

A doctor inserts a little wafer-shaped carmustine implant during brain surgery to remove the brain tumor. The cerebral cavity left after the removal of the brain tumor is filled with carmustine wafers by the physician. The wafers disintegrate after being inserted into the brain, progressively releasing carmustine into the regions around the tumor.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving carmustine implant,

  • If you have an allergy to carmustine or any of the ingredients in carmustine implant, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and dietary supplements you are currently taking or intend to take.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you get pregnant while receiving a carmustine implant. Carmustine may affect the fetus.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What side effects can this medication cause?

The carmustine implant could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Confusion
  • Feeling down
  • Pain
  • Drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Excessive fatigue or weakness

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if any of these symptoms occur to you:

  • Seizures
  • Severe head and neck pain, fever, chills, and stiffness
  • Slowed-down wound healing
  • Cough, fever, flu-like symptoms, warm, red, or painful skin, or other indications of infection; sore throat
  • Swollen hands, feet, or face
  • One side of the body is immobile.
  • Lot of blood
  • Confusion
  • Reduced speech
  • Chest ache

Other negative effects of carmustine implants could occur. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online at or by phone at 1-800-332-1088 if you have a serious side event.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your doctor’s appointments. To monitor your body’s reaction to the carmustine implant, your doctor will request specific lab tests.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Gliadel®
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