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What is Temodar®?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
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Temodar® is a brand name for the generic drug temozolomide. It is a chemotherapy drug intended to treat cancer. This is also called a cytotoxic or antineoplastic medication. In most places, it is available only with a prescription.

The drug is intended to treat a specific kind of cancer, called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and astrocytoma brain tumors. Temodar® may help slow the growth of cancer cells. Sometimes, it also decreases the size of tumors. A doctor may prescribe radiation therapy along with this kind of chemotherapy.

Temodar® comes in the form of capsules taken by mouth. Patients should take their dosages at the same time each day to maintain consistent levels of the drug in their bodies. Unlike many other drugs, taking it on an empty stomach may help reduce stomach discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. Patients should drink a full glass of water and swallow the capsule whole.

This chemotherapy drug carries the risk of serious side effects, which require a doctor's immediate care. These may include seizures, numbness, and unusual weakness. Patients should also monitor themselves for signs of an infection, which can include symptoms such as fever and chills. Weight loss, pain during urination, and white patches inside the mouth may also occur.

Patients should also keep a record of less serious side effects, such as insomnia, blurred vision, and dizziness. Hair loss, mild skin rash, and fatigue are also possible. Some people report experiencing an unpleasant taste in the mouth, constipation, and diarrhea.

Temodar® suppresses one's immune system, leaving one more vulnerable to infections and other illnesses. Patients should avoid crowds and close contact with sick people. They should take care of their general health by resting often, maintaining good nutrition, and drinking plenty of water. Patients who have trouble eating because of nausea may be prescribed antinausea drugs. Avoiding alcohol, sun exposure, and contact sports is strongly recommended.

Patients taking Temodar® will need to be regularly monitored through blood tests. A doctor will periodically evaluate a patient's complete blood count (CBC) and the function of internal organs. Depending on side effects and the person's response to the chemotherapy, the doctor may adjust the dosage.

Before taking Temodar® or any other chemotherapy drug, patients must disclose all other medical conditions and medications they are taking. For example, steroids, sulfa drugs, and phenytoin can cause dangerous interactions if taken with it. Temodar® can cause birth defects and harm to a nursing infant; as such, women should never use this drug while pregnant or breastfeeding.

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