Treats cancer of the colon or rectum.
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. This medicine needs to be given slowly, so the needle will remain in place for at least an hour.
- 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 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 also use bevacizumab (Avastin®), irinotecan (Camptosar®), 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil®), leucovorin (Wellcovorin®), or other cancer treatments.
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. Continue to use an effective form of birth control for 6 months after the last dose.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding or if you have lung problems or trouble breathing.
- This medicine may cause serious skin problems that may lead to life-threatening infections. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itchiness, swelling, fingernail changes, or dry, red, peeling, or cracking skin while you are using this medicine.
- Tell your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, trouble breathing, chest tightness, lightheadedness, or swelling in your face or hands within a few hours after you receive this medicine. These may be symptoms of an infusion reaction, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
- Check with your doctor right away if you have eyes problems, such as redness, itching, swelling, or vision changes while you are using this medicine. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an eye doctor.
- This medicine may cause diarrhea and dehydration when used with other cancer medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you have muscle cramps or twitching, confusion, or unusual tiredness or weakness while you are using this medicine.
- Tell your doctor right away if you have a cough, trouble breathing, or chest tightness. These could be symptoms of a serious lung disease.
- This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and hats while you receive this medicine and for 2 months after the last dose.
- 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
- Acne, fingernail changes, or skin dryness, itchiness, or cracking
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Confusion, weakness, lightheadedness, or fainting
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, or muscle cramps or twitching
- Eye redness or pain, tearing, or changes in vision
- Fever and chills
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
- Rapid weight gain
- Swelling in your face, hands, ankles, or feet
- Trouble breathing or chest tightness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild skin rash
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or stomach pain
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
- Last reviewed on 8/4/2014
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