Colon Cancer Home > Nerve Problems With Eloxatin

Clinical studies have shown that a majority of people who receive Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) will develop nerve problems during treatment with this drug. Some of the symptoms of this reaction can include abnormal tongue sensations, difficulty speaking, and problems swallowing. Cold temperatures can make nerve problems worse, so wearing warm clothing and avoiding iced beverages can help minimize symptoms.

An Overview of Eloxatin Nerve Problems

Eloxatin® (oxaliplatin) has the potential to cause damage to the nerves in the body. In fact, the majority of people who receive Eloxatin will develop some type of nerve problem (known medically as neuropathy) during treatment. In general, there are two types of neuropathy associated with Eloxatin use: an acute (short-duration) neuropathy and a persistent (longer-duration) neuropathy.

More Information on Nerve Problems With Eloxatin

Acute neuropathy can occur within hours of receiving the Eloxatin infusion, or up to a couple days after the infusion is given. Acute neuropathy occurred in about 56 percent of people in clinical trials. This type of neuropathy often goes away within 14 days, but commonly recurs with the next dose. Symptoms may include:
  • Jaw tightness
  • Abnormal tongue sensations
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Eye pain
  • Chest pressure
  • Discomfort in the back of the throat, which can make it difficult to swallow or breathe.
It should be noted that cold temperatures often worsen the symptoms of acute neuropathy. Therefore, you should not use ice or ice packs to treat any of your symptoms.
Persistent neuropathy is characterized by nerve problems that continue for longer than 14 days. About 48 percent of people in clinical trials experienced a persistent type of neuropathy. Symptoms may include:
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Pain
  • Burning sensations in the hands, feet, throat, or around your mouth.
The symptoms can make it difficult to swallow, and may interfere with the ability to perform daily activities, such as buttoning clothes, writing, and walking.
Most of the time the symptoms of neuropathy will improve after treatment has ended. However, it may take several months, or even longer, for the symptoms to resolve completely. In clinical trials, 39 percent of people still had nerve problems 6 months after their last dose, and 21 percent still had the side effects 18 months after treatment ended.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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