Oxaliplatin is used to treat cancer of the large intestine and rectum. This medicine reduces the size of the tumour by stopping cancer cells from growing.
Oxaliplatin is used together with other anti-cancer medicines fluorouracil and folinic acid to treat stage 3 colon cancer after a surgical removal of tumour, or metastatic colon cancer (tumour that has spread to other parts of the body).
Oxaliplatin is to be given intravenously (into the vein). It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
This medicine is usually given in cycles. It is administered as a slow intravenous infusion. Infusion times and duration may vary. The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the course of your treatment depending on your condition.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Oxaliplatin.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Do not use Oxaliplatin if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or any similar medicines such as cisplatin or carboplatin.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe kidney disease
- impaired bone marrow function (a condition in which the blood cells are low)
- nerve problems (tingling and numbness in the fingers and/or toes)
as Oxaliplatin may not be suitable for you.
It is important that you do not get pregnant while being treated with this medicine. Avoid pregnancy during treatment. Oxaliplatin may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods during therapy and 4 months after discontinuation of treatment. Men should not father a child for up to 6 months after stopping the therapy. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- mild to moderate kidney disease
- liver disease
- heart disease e.g. heart rhythm disorder
Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. Do not receive any vaccinations without first asking your doctor.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- You may need to have routine blood tests (e.g. complete blood count, liver and kidney function, blood electrolyte level, and blood clot test) while you are being treated with Oxaliplatin. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring of signs and symptoms of infections or toxicity may be needed during therapy.
Oxaliplatin may cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, loss of appetite, stomach pain, joint or bone pain, and pain at the injection site.
Oxaliplatin may cause some problems in the nerves of your hands and feet. This is common and should improve gradually. You may feel a tingling sensation or numbness in your fingers or toes. It may be worsened by cold temperature, food, drinks, or any contact with cold objects. Avoid exposure to cold temperature or objects, or consumption of cold food and drinks during or within 48 hours after your treatment.
This medicine will cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- persistent or severe diarrhoea, pass out blood or black, tarry stools or vomit coffee-ground-like vomitus
- breathing problems, shortness of breath, persistent cough
- swelling of the face, mouth, lips, tongue or throat
- signs of infections e.g. fever,chills, sore throat, mouth sore
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are receiving any vaccination.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Do not freeze.
Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.