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Temozolomide Dosage

What Is the Recommended Temozolomide Dose for Anaplastic Astrocytoma?

Temozolomide is given in 28-day treatment cycles. Each cycle consists of 5 days of temozolomide, followed by a 23-day break in treatment. The usual recommended dose of temozolomide in cycle one for the treatment of refractory anaplastic astrocytoma (a type of brain tumor that has not adequately responded to other treatment) is 150 mg per m2 daily. If significant side effects do not occur, the dose may be increased to 200 mg per m2 for subsequent cycles.
 
Your healthcare provider will do blood tests and monitor you for side effects before each treatment cycle. If you develop potentially serious temozolomide side effects, such as low blood cell counts, your healthcare provider may reduce your dosage, delay your treatment, or recommend you stop taking the medication altogether.
 
Your healthcare provider will tell you how many cycles of treatment you need. Treatment normally continues until your cancer gets worse, for up to two years.
 

General Information on Using Temozolomide

Some considerations to keep in mind during treatment with temozolomide include the following:
 
  • This medication comes in the form of a capsule and as a powder that is mixed with liquid to make a solution for injection. The capsules are taken by mouth once a day. The injection is given slowly through a needle inserted into a vein (an intravenous, or IV, infusion).
 
  • You can take temozolomide capsules with or without food. However, you should take them the same way each time. Taking them on an empty stomach at bedtime may help reduce nausea and vomiting.
 
  • Temozolomide capsules should be swallowed whole with a glass of water; do not open, break, or chew them.
 
  • Take your dose at around the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
 
  • You may need to take different strengths of temozolomide capsules to make up your dosage. Make sure you know exactly how many capsules of each strength you should be taking.
 
  • Your healthcare provider may give you other medicines to take, in addition to temozolomide, to help prevent certain side effects. Make sure to follow your healthcare provider's instructions for taking these other medicines.
 
  • If temozolomide capsules are accidentally opened or damaged, avoid inhaling or touching the powder contained inside them. If you do come in contact with the powder, flush the area with water.
 
  • It will take about 90 minutes to receive a temozolomide infusion.
 
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. This medicine works best if taken on schedule. However, you may need to miss a dose due to side effects.
 
  • If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage of temozolomide, please talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
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