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How Does It Work?

Temodar is part of a group of medications called alkylating agents. In general, alkylating agents transfer a piece of their structure, called an alkyl group, to DNA. This damages the DNA, and prevents the DNA from replicating. Because DNA replication is essential for cells to grow and multiply, alkylating medications prevent cell growth and multiplication.
Temodar itself is not active against cancer, but it is rapidly converted in the body into an active form. In fact, the active form of Temodar is the same as the active form of another chemotherapy medicine known as dacarbazine.
While Temodar can kill both healthy and cancerous cells, it has a greater effect on cells that are growing rapidly. Cancer cells grow more quickly than healthy cells and are, therefore, more affected by Temodar.

When and How to Use Temodar

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with this drug 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 Temodar 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.
  • The 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 Temodar capsules to get the right dose for you. Make sure you know exactly how many capsules of each strength you should be taking.
  • Your healthcare provider may give you other medicines to help prevent certain Temodar side effects. Make sure to follow your healthcare provider's instructions for taking these other medicines.
  • Avoid inhaling or touching the powder contained inside Temodar capsules. If you do come in contact with the powder, which could happen if they are accidentally opened or damaged, flush the area with water.
  • For those receiving the medication by IV, it will take about 90 minutes to receive a Temodar infusion.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. This medicine works best if taken on schedule. However, you may need to miss a dose due to side effects.
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