Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin® )

Warning: Oxaliplatin has been known to cause severe (and sometimes fatal) allergic reactions in certain cases. These complications tend to occur within minutes after a dose. The best indicators of an allergic reaction are: rash, hives, itching, reddened skin, trouble breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, and several others.

Indications: Oxaliplatin is one of a group of chemotherapy treatments that utilizes the effects of platinum. The platinum of this medication is what helps to start its function of slowing and stopping the growth of cancerous cells.

This chemotherapy medication is often only used for advanced stages of cancer of the colon or the rectum. Though it can be used to treat other types of cancer, these occasions are not as frequent as the treatment of colon cancer. Often, this medication will only be used after other treatments have been ineffective. Those that have had colon cancer go into remission and then return also use this chemotherapy medication. This medication may also work in conjunction with other chemotherapy medications in order to function better depending on the reactions in an individual.

Dosage: Oxaliplatin is given through an injection into the bloodstream. Because this is a difficult and delicate process, it is necessary for these injections to take place at specific doctor’s appointments. The dosage of this chemotherapy medication depends on a couple factors. First, the size of an individual or patient is taken into account. This includes a person’s weight, height, and other factors. Also, as this medication is usually given after other types of treatments, there may be a consideration of the individual’s overall health as well. Finally, the response to the first couple of treatments or therapy sessions will also be taken into account concerning the continuation of the dosage and treatment. The doctor will take all of these considerations into account when prescribing dosage.

The doses of this chemotherapy medication often occur about once every 2 weeks. The regularity of the treatment is very essential to the function of the medication, so it is important to always keep appointments with a doctor.

Overdose: The medication is taken  in hospital by health care professionals having experience in chemotherapy medications; the risk of overdose is virtually low. when ocerdose occur it can cause serious health problems, which can lead to death in fragile patients. There is no specific treatment for Oxaliplatin overdose. The treatment is symptomatic; that is, your physician will reduce the dose and treat the symptoms that you are experiencing.

Missing dose: it is necessary that you take Oxaliplatin exactly as it is prescribed. If for some reasons you cannot be present at the hospital for the treatment, contact your oncologist before the date scheduled for the injection. Do not stay home because you developing adverse effects; most patient experience when being treated with Oxaliplatin.

Contraindications: The major factor concerning this chemotherapy medication is its reaction with the individual. As has been mentioned, it is possible for those taking the medication to have an allergic reaction. If a reaction is suspected, contact with a doctor is essential.

Oxaliplatin is contraindicated in the following cases:

  • kidney failure
  • liver failure
  • allergy to Oxaliplatin or any of its ingredients
  • allergy to medications containing platinum (Cisplatin for instance)
  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding.

Mechanism of action (MOA): Oxaliplatin selectively inhibits the synthesis of DNA and thus slows or stops the reproduction and growth of cancer cells.

Interactions: There is quite a list of medications that this medication can work with, so all cannot be listed here, but a few are aminoglycosides, amphotericin B, cyclosporine, nalisixic acid, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tacrolimus, and vancomycin. It is very important to consult with a doctor and give them a list of all current medications as well as any major health problems experienced in the past

Side effects: byattacking cancer cells,Oxaliplatin also affects normal (healthy) cells, which lead to, in most patients, development of adverse reactions. Common Oxaliplatin side effects include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • mouth blistering
  • fatigue
  • hair loss
  • appetite loss
  • weight gain or loss
  • hiccups
  • muscle, back, or joint pain
  • skin problems or dry skin
  • dry mouth
  • sweating, mostly at night
  • stomach pain
  • heartburn
  • constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness or peeling of the skin on the hands and feet

If the side effects above become severe or persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • visual defects
  • severe depression symptoms
  • anxiety
  • persistent tingling and numbness in hands and feet
  • muscle weakness that interferes with daily activities
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • abdominal pain
  • bloody or dark stools
  • persistent diarrhea
  • swelling of feet or legs
  • dark or bloody urine
  • Symptoms of anemia and / or infection such as sore throat, cough,  pale skin and fast or irregular heartbeat, etc..

References : 

1 – santecheznous.com,  

2 – nlm.nih.gov 

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