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All about: Oxaliplatin

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Generic Name: Oxaliplatin (ox-AL-ih-plah-tin)
Brand Name: Eloxatin

Use Oxaliplatin only under close medical supervision. Oxaliplatin may rarely cause severe and sometimes fatal allergic reactions during administration. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching skin, dizziness, or breathing difficulties.


Oxaliplatin is used for:

Treating advanced cancer of the colon or rectum in certain patients. It is usually used in combination with other medicines.

Oxaliplatin is an antineoplastic. It works by killing cancer cells and slowing tumor growth.

Do NOT use Oxaliplatin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Oxaliplatin or to another platinum product (eg, cisplatin, carboplatin)
  • you have certain lung problems (eg, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease) or bone marrow disease

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Oxaliplatin :

Some medical conditions may interact with Oxaliplatin . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney or liver problems, blood disorders (eg, anemia), or nerve disorders

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Oxaliplatin . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Ampotericin B, cyclosporine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen) or tacrolimus because they may cause side effects, including increased risk of kidney problems, when taken with Oxaliplatin
  • Aminoglycosides (eg, vancomycin) or NSAIDs because they may cause side effects, including loss of hearing, when taken with Oxaliplatin

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Oxaliplatin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Oxaliplatin :

Use Oxaliplatin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Oxaliplatin is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Oxaliplatin at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If Oxaliplatin contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • If nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite occurs, ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects. Also, other medicines may be given before and after therapy with Oxaliplatin to help reduce these effects.
  • It is important to take each dose as scheduled. If you must miss a dose, contact your doctor who will establish a new dose schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Oxaliplatin .

Important safety information:

  • Oxaliplatin may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or vision changes. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Oxaliplatin .
  • Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain local regulations for selecting an appropriate container and properly disposing of the container when full.
  • Oxaliplatin reduces the number of blood cells needed for clotting. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur.
  • Oxaliplatin lowers your resistance to infection. To prevent infection, avoid contact with people who have colds or other infections. Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have thoroughly washed your hands first.
  • Check with your doctor before having vaccinations while you are using Oxaliplatin .
  • Oxaliplatin may affect how your nerves feel and may cause sensitivity to cold temperatures. Avoid drinking cold drinks and using ice while receiving Oxaliplatin . Cover exposed skin before exposing yourself to cold temperatures or cold objects.
  • You can reduce sensitivity to coldness by practicing the following: cover yourself with a blanket while receiving medicine; do not breathe deeply when exposed to cold air; wear warm clothing in cold weather at all times; cover your mouth and nose with a scarf or a ski cap to warm the air that goes into your lungs; wear gloves when removing items from the freezer and refrigerator or when touching car doors, mailboxes, or other metal objects; drink lukewarm fluids; drink beverages with a straw; do not use ice chips if you have nausea or mouth sores; do not put ice packs on your body; do not run the air conditioning at high levels in the house or car during hot weather; if you get cold, warm up only the cold part of your body; warm cold hands up with warm water.
  • LAB TESTS, including complete blood cell and hemoglobin counts, may be performed to monitor your progress. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Oxaliplatin with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially diarrhea, dehydration, loss of potassium (hypokalemia), and fatigue.
  • Oxaliplatin is not recommended for use in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Oxaliplatin has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Oxaliplatin during pregnancy. It is recommended that women of childbearing age use effective birth control measures while using Oxaliplatin because Oxaliplatin may cause fetal harm. It is unknown if Oxaliplatin is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Oxaliplatin .

Possible side effects of Oxaliplatin :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Change in taste; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; fatigue; hair loss; headache; heartburn; hiccups; nausea; pain; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; runny nose; sleeplessness; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black stools; blood in the urine; chest pain or pressure; decreased urination; difficulty swallowing; disorientation; dry cough; dry mouth; eye pain; fainting; fever or chills; flushing; groin or calf pain; itching; jaw tightness; loss of appetite; mouth sores; muscle cramps; nosebleeds; numbness, tingling, or pain of the hands, feet, or around the mouth or throat; odd feelings in the tongue; persistent sore throat; persistent stomach pain; sensitivity to cold temperatures or cold objects; severe diarrhea or vomiting; shortness of breath; slurred speech; sudden severe headache; thirst; trouble walking or performing activities of daily living; unusual bruising or bleeding; vision problems or changes; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include chest pain; diarrhea; easy bruising or bleeding; fatigue; persistent sore throat or fever; numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, legs, or feet; severe nausea and vomiting; shortness of breath; very slow heartbeat; wheezing.

Proper storage of Oxaliplatin :

Store the unmixed vials of Oxaliplatin at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Store away from heat, light, and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Once prepared, Oxaliplatin is stable for only 6 hours at room temperature (68 to 77 degrees F; 20 to 25 degrees C) or 24 hours in the refrigerator (36 to 46 degrees F; 2 to 8 degrees C). Check the expiration date on the label and properly discard any unused medicine after that time. Keep Oxaliplatin , as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Oxaliplatin , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Oxaliplatin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Oxaliplatin . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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