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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Temozolomide (Temodar®)


Brand Name: Temodar®

Temozolomide is used for the treatment of anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a type of brain tumor.

Temozolomide belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents, and is a “pro-drug,” which means it is converted into its cancer-fighting form once inside the body. Temozolomide works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells.

This medication comes as a capsule that is taken by mouth. Usually, the capsule is taken on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals, or at bedtime. It’s best to take temozolomide at the same time each day. The exact dose and duration of treatment may vary depending on several factors, including the type of cancer being treated, how well the medication is working, how well your body is tolerating the drug, and what other medications you are taking. Your doctor will recommend the approach that is best for you.

Temozolomide side effects

To prevent problematic interactions between temozolomide and other drugs, be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, and what other medications and supplements you are currently taking. You should also inform your doctor if you have or ever had a liver tumor, liver disease, or kidney disease, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.

Possible side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling
  • Dizziness or problems with balance (Note, with brain tumors this symptom may be due to the disease, not the treatment)
  • Weakness
  • Rash
  • Itching

Some of temozolimide’s side effects can be serious. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Sore throat, fever, chills or other signs of infection
  • Shortness of breath
  • Facial flushing
  • Wheezing
  • Swelling of facial features
  • Hives
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Persistent constipation
  • Black or tarry stools, or blood in stools or urine
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Coughing up blood
  • Inability to eat or drink

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. Patients may experience additional effects not mentioned above.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), your team of cancer experts will explain each of the side effects of temozolomide with you in detail, as well as the side effects and expectations of all other medications planned as part of your individualized treatment plan.

Temozolomide for cancer treatment

Temozolomide is approved by the FDA for the following cancer treatments:

  • In combination with radiation therapy for adult patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme
  • As maintenance therapy for glioblastoma multiforme following initial treatment with temozolomide and radiation therapy
  • As a second-line treatment for anaplastic astrocytoma that has worsened following treatment with combination chemotherapy containing nitrosourea and procarbazine

At CTCA, our integrative approach to cancer treatment works to fight your disease on all fronts and ensures that you remain at the center of everything we do. We encourage participation from both you and your family to make certain you are comfortable with all decisions made regarding your treatment.

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. In no way should it be considered as offering medical advice. Cancer Treatment Centers of America assumes no responsibility for how this material is used. Please check with a physician if you suspect you are ill. Also note that while Cancer Treatment Centers of America frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly. Therefore, some information may be out of date.