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Temozolomide (By mouth)

Temozolomide (tem-oh-ZOE-loe-mide)

Treats brain tumors.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to temozolomide or dacarbazine.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Your pharmacist will also give you specific instructions about how much medicine to take. Follow these instructions exactly. Ask for help if you do not understand.
  • Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water. Do not split, open, or chew the capsule.
  • If capsules are accidentally opened or damaged, be careful not to breathe in any of the medicine or get it on your skin. If you get it on your skin, wash it right away with soap and water. Call your caregiver right away.
  • It is best to take this medicine at bedtime on an empty stomach. This may keep the medicine from causing nausea or vomiting.
  • If you vomit right after you take the medicine, call your doctor.
  • You may need to take other medicines to keep you from getting infections. Take all medicines your doctor has prescribed as part of your treatment.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using valproic acid.
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or liver disease. Do not breast feed while you are using this medicine.
  • You may get infections more easily while you are taking temozolomide. Stay away from crowds or people with colds, flu, or other infections.
  • This medicine can cause nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to keep you from feeling sick and throwing up. If the medicine does not help (you can't keep liquids down), call your doctor.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches.
  • Seizures.
  • Severe nausea or vomiting.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache.
  • Mild nausea, constipation or diarrhea.
  • Tiredness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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