Oxaliplatin (Generic Name)

Other Names: Eloxatin™

Oxaliplatin is used to treat cancer. It is given intravenously.

Possible Side Effects

  • Nerve problems (peripheral neuropathy): You may become very sensitive to cold temperatures and objects. You may feel pain, tingling, burning, or numbness in your hands or feet, or around your mouth or throat. The first signs of nerve problems may occur with the first treatment or upt to two days afterward.
  • Bone marrow depression: This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. It may increase your risk for infection, fatigue, and bleeding.
  • Changes in bowel movements: Some patients experience diarrhea, while other patients experience constipation.
  • Sudden cough
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Back pain
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Changes in the tissue of the lung: Tell your doctor if you get a dry cough or have trouble breathing before your next treatment. These may be signs of lung disease.
  • Blood clots (rare): A blood clot in your leg may cause your leg to swell, appear red, or feel warm. It may cause pain. A blood clot in your lungs may cause shortness of breath, pain when breathing, and/or chest pain.
  • Sore mouth and throat: You may have red areas, white patches, or sores that are painful.
  • Leg pain, cramping, swelling, redness, or warmth
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and/or feet
  • Skin and tissue irritation: This may include redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site. This occurs if the drug leaks out of the vein and into the surrounding tissue.
  • Effects on an unborn child: This drug may have harmful effects on an unborn child. Use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment. Genetic counseling is available to you to discuss the effect of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. If you are pregnant or become pregnant, talk with a genetic counselor. He or she can review the potential risks to the fetus.
  • Serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis (rare): Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms during the time you are receiving this drug:
    • Difficulty catching your breath.
    • Feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling.
    • Feeling your heart beat rapidly (palpitations).
    • Dizziness or lightheadedness.
    • Flushing, itching, rash, or hives.

Treating Side Effects

  • Do not drink cold drinks or use ice cubes in drinks. Drink fluids at room temperature or warmer. Drink through a staw.
  • Wear gloves when removing items from the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Wear gloves to touch cold objects. Be aware that most metals are cold to the touch, especially in winter. Examples are your car door handle and your mail box latch.
  • Avoid cold air conditioning in your home and car. Bring warm items for covering up if you must be in public spaces that have cold air condioned temperatures.
  • 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 pull-down cap (ski cap) to warm the air that goes to your lungs.
  • Do not put ice or ice packs on your body.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine to treat nausea, vomiting, headache, or diarrhea.
  • Let your doctor or nurse know if you are having trouble sleeping.
  • Mouth care is very important. Gently brush with a very soft tooth brush and rinse your mouth with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water or 1/2 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in 8 ounces of water. Do this at least after every meal and at bed time.
  • Avoid mouthwash with alcohol. Avoid alcohol and smoking because they can irritate your mouth and throat.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of this drug with food. This drug may interact with other medicine. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor’s advice.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site
  • Temperature of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Uncontrolled nausea that prevents you from eating or drinking
  • Vomiting more than 3 times in 1 day
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing or saying words
  • Jaw tightness
  • Odd feelings in your tongue
  • Chest pressure or chest pain
  • Severe headache
  • Severe stomach pain with nausea and vomiting

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain, tingling, burning, or numbness (pins and needles) in your hands, feet, or around your mouth or throat.
  • Difficulty walking or changes in the way you walk
  • Clumsiness in buttoning clothes, opening jars, or other routine activities
  • Dry cough that is persistent
  • Lower belly pain or nausea that prescribed medicine doesn’t help
  • No bowel movement for 3 days or if you feel uncomfortable
  • Swelling in the legs, feet, or ankles
  • Headache that prescribed medicine doesn’t help
  • Extreme tiredness that interferes with normal activities
  • Painful mouth or throat, or discomfort when eating or drinking
  • Extreme drowsiness that interferes with normal activities
  • Persistent loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of 5 pounds or more in 1 week
  • Diarrhea of 5 or 6 stools in 1 day or diarrhea with weakness

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com