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All about: oxaliplatin

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Generic Name: oxaliplatin (ox AL ih plah tin)
Brand Names: Eloxatin

What is oxaliplatin?

Oxaliplatin is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. Oxaliplatin interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Oxaliplatin is used in the treatment of colon and rectum cancer, often with other anti-cancer medicines or when other treatments have not worked or stopped working.

Oxaliplatin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about oxaliplatin?

Oxaliplatin should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Serious side effects have been reported with the use of oxaliplatin including: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; fever or chills; or signs of infection); sores in the mouth or throat; severe vomiting or diarrhea; and others. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with oxaliplatin.

Oxaliplatin may cause nerve damage such as: becoming very sensitive to cold temperatures and cold objects, trouble breathing, swallowing or saying words, jaw tightness, odd feelings in your tongue, chest pressure, pain, tingling, burning, a "pins and needles" feeling or a numbing of your hands, feet or around your mouth or throat.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking oxaliplatin?

Do not use oxaliplatin without first talking to your doctor if you have
  • an allergy to platinum or platinum-containing products such as the cancer medicines cisplatin (Platinol) and carboplatin (Paraplatin);

  • have kidney disease;
  • have an infection;

  • are in a poor nutritional state;

  • have or have had numbness in your hands or feet;

  • have had previous treatment with another chemotherapy medicine; or

  • have poor bone marrow function.

The use of oxaliplatin may be dangerous if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Oxaliplatin is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that it is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use oxaliplatin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Discuss with your doctor the appropriate use of birth control during treatment with oxaliplatin. It is not known whether oxaliplatin passes into breast milk. Do not take oxaliplatin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.

How should I use oxaliplatin?

Oxaliplatin should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with oxaliplatin depending upon the type of cancer being treated and other factors. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.

Your doctor may want to admit you to the hospital for your first dose or doses of oxaliplatin to monitor you for any reaction.

Your doctor will probably want you to have regularly scheduled blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with oxaliplatin to monitor progress and side effects.

Your healthcare provider will store oxaliplatin as directed by the manufacturer. If you are storing oxaliplatin at home, follow the directions provided by your healthcare provider.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of oxaliplatin.

What happens if I overdose?

If for any reason an overdose of oxaliplatin is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Symptoms of a oxaliplatin overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe. In particular, difficulty breathing, wheezing, vomiting and sensations such as burning, pricking, tickling or tingling may be symptoms of an overdose.

What should I avoid while using oxaliplatin?

Avoid cold temperatures and cold objects. Cover your skin if you must go outside in cold temperatures. The following is a list of ways you can reduce the side effect caused by cold temperatures:

  • do not breathe deeply when exposed to cold air;

  • don't take things from the refrigerator or freezer without wearing gloves;

  • do not run the air conditioner at high levels in the house or in the car in hot weather;

  • do not drink cold drinks or use ice cubes in drinks;

  • do not put ice packs on your body;

  • Do Notuse ice chips if you have nausea or mouth sores. Ask your nurse about what you can use.

You need to discuss your level of activity during treatment with your doctor and your nurse. You should follow their advice.

Oxaliplatin can lower the activity of your immune system making you susceptible to infections. Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses and do not receive vaccines that contain live strains of a virus (e.g., live oral polio vaccine) during treatment with oxaliplatin. In addition, avoid contact with individuals who have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus can be passed on to you.

Oxaliplatin side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects from oxaliplatin, contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (including difficulty breathing; sudden cough; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; rash or hives);

  • decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; or fever, chills, or signs of infection such as redness or swelling at the intravenous site, pain on swallowing, cough that brings up mucous, sore throat, shivering or pain on urination);

  • diarrhea, frequent bowel movements or watery stools;

  • vomiting that is persistent;

  • signs of dehydration (too much water loss) such as, tiredness, thirst, dry mouth, lightheadedness, dizziness and decreased urination);

  • signs of nerve damage such as: becoming very sensitive to cold temperatures and cold objects, trouble breathing, swallowing or saying words, jaw tightness, odd feelings in your tongue, chest pressure, pain, tingling, burning, a "pins and needles" feeling or a numbing of your hands, feet or around your mouth or throat; or

  • swelling of hands, legs or feet.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue taking oxaliplatin and talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • a dry cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;

  • fatigue or weakness;

  • mild to moderate diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or loss of appetite;

  • sores in the mouth or throat; or

  • back pain.

Other side effects have also been reported. Discuss with your doctor any side effect that occurs during treatment with oxaliplatin.

What other drugs will affect oxaliplatin?

Do not receive "live" vaccines during treatment with oxaliplatin. Administration of a live vaccine may be dangerous during treatment with oxaliplatin.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with oxaliplatin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products, during treatment with oxaliplatin.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your healthcare provider may have additional information about oxaliplatin that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Oxaliplatin is available with a prescription under the brand name Eloxatin. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:09:25 PM.

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