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Eloxatin Warnings and Precautions

It is important for your healthcare provider to know if you have ever had a previous allergic reaction to a platinum medication, if you have any allergies, or if you are taking any other medications before you begin treatment with Eloxatin. Other precautions for safely using this drug include understanding the warnings about your risk for developing nerve problems or serious lung disease.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving Eloxatin® (oxaliplatin) if you have:
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • Nerve problems
  • Lung disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Had a previous allergic reaction to a platinum medication
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Eloxatin

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving this medication include the following:
  • Like other platinum medications, Eloxatin can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. These reactions can occur within minutes of starting your infusion, and may happen even if you received this drug before without any problems. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction, which may include:
    • Rash
    • Hives
    • Skin redness
    • Facial flushing
    • Itching
    • Diarrhea
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
    • Sweating
    • Chest pain
    • Confusion
    • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or fainting.
  • This medication can cause nerve problems (see Nerve Problems With Eloxatin). These problems can occur as early as your first dose, or up to two days after you start the medication. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you experience any signs of nerve problems, such as:
    • Extreme sensitivity to cold temperatures and objects
    • Problems breathing or swallowing
    • Difficulty talking, jaw tightness, or unusual feelings in your tongue
    • Chest pressure
    • Numbness, tingling, pain, or burning sensations in the hands, feet, throat, or around your mouth
    • Difficulty walking or doing other activities.
  • Eloxatin-related nerve problems may be worsened by cold temperatures or objects. Therefore, you should avoid exposure to the cold during treatment. For example, do not drink cold beverages, use ice, or touch cold objects. Also, cover your skin before going outside in cold weather.
  • Eloxatin can cause a rare but serious brain condition known as reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you have signs of this condition, which can include:
    • Headache
    • Confusion
    • Seizures
    • Vision problems, including blurred vision or loss of vision.
  • There have been reports of serious lung disease occurring in people receiving Eloxatin. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any signs of lung disease, such as:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Dry cough.
  • Eloxatin increases certain liver enzymes, and may cause liver problems. Your healthcare provider will order blood tests to monitor your liver function during treatment.
  • You may develop low blood cell counts during treatment. This could cause anemia and increase your risk for infection (see Chemotherapy and Infections). You may also be at a higher risk for bleeding (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy). Your healthcare provider will check your blood counts regularly during treatment, using simple blood tests.
  • This medicine may cause side effects, such as dizziness, blurriness or loss of vision, and problems with balance and coordination, which can impair your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. You should avoid these activities if you cannot do them safely.
  • It is unknown if Eloxatin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to receiving the drug (see Eloxatin and Breastfeeding).
  • Eloxatin is a pregnancy Category D medication, which means it may harm an unborn child if used during pregnancy (see Eloxatin and Pregnancy).
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