Oxaliplatin (Injection)


Oxaliplatin (ox-al-i-PLA-tin)

Treats cancer of the colon or rectum.

Brand Name(s)


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • If any of this medicine gets on your skin or in your eyes, nose, or mouth, tell your doctor or nurse right away.
  • Oxaliplatin is usually used with other medicines to treat cancer. This combination of medicines is usually given for 2 days, but you will receive oxaliplatin on day 1 only. This 2-day treatment is given again every 14 days. You and your doctor will decide how many cycles of this medicine you should receive.
  • You may also receive medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting before treatment with oxaliplatin.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin┬«) or other medicines to treat cancer.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lung or breathing problems, or nerve problems.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
  • Avoid cold temperatures and cold objects because cold may cause or worsen some of the common side effects of this medicine. Do not use ice or drink cold beverages. Always wear gloves when you touch anything cold, including metal or items in your refrigerator and freezer. Cover your skin, nose, and mouth if you must go outside in cold weather. You may need to wear long sleeves and pants if you are inside an air-conditioned car or room.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a condition called peripheral or sensory neuropathy.
  • Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have coughing, shortness of breath, or breathing problems. These may be signs of a serious lung disease.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have dark urine or pale stools, yellow skin or eyes, nausea and vomiting, or upper stomach pain. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
  • This medicine may increase your chance of having blood clots or a brain condition called reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS). Stop using this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you develop sudden and severe headaches, seizures, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or walking.
  • This medicine may cause dizziness, blurred vision, or other vision problems. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not able to see well. If these reactions are especially bothersome, check with your doctor.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Confusion
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools
  • Dry cough, noisy breathing, or shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, feet, mouth, or throat
  • Pain, redness, burning, swelling, or skin changes where the needle was placed
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, hearing, speech, or walking
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision or changes in vision
  • Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain or upset, or loss of appetite
  • Feeling sensitive to cold objects or cold temperatures
  • Hair loss, mild skin problems, or increased sweating
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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