A healthcare provider may recommend chemotherapy treatment with lomustine for people who have brain tumors or Hodgkin's lymphoma. This prescription medicine comes as capsules that are usually taken as a single dose once every six weeks. It works by disrupting the ability of cancer cells to grow and multiply. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Lomustine (CeeNU®) is a prescription chemotherapy medication. It belongs to the general class of chemotherapy drugs known as alkylating agents, as well as the subclass of alkylating agents called nitrosoureas.
Lomustine is approved to treat brain tumors in people who have already been treated with surgery and radiation therapy. It is also approved for use in combination with other chemotherapy medicines to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma (also known as Hodgkin's disease) that has become worse or has not adequately responded to other treatment.
Lomustine is also sometimes referred to as CCNU because its chemical name is chloroethyl-cyclohexyl-nitrosourea.
(Click What Is Lomustine Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
Just like any chemotherapy medicine, lomustine can cause side effects, some of which can be significant and potentially serious. In fact, most people will experience some type of side effect during treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this drug.
Common side effects of lomustine include but are not limited to:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased platelets, which could increase the risk of bleeding
- Decreased white blood cells, which could increase the risk for infections.
(Click Lomustine Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)