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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin®)


Brand Name: Eloxatin®

Oxaliplatin is used in the treatment of colon and rectal cancer.

Oxaliplatin is a type of chemotherapy drug. Specifically, it is part of a class of drugs known as platinum-containing compounds, which belong in the larger group of alkylating agents. Oxaliplatin works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells.

This medication is given as an injection into a vein. Usually, oxaliplatin is given once every 2 weeks. The exact dose and schedule of treatment depends on several factors, including how well the cancer is responding to the drug. Your doctor will determine the approach that is best for you.

Oxaliplatin side effects

To prevent problematic interactions between oxaliplatin and other drugs, be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, and what other medications and supplements you are currently taking. You should also inform your doctor if you have or ever had liver tumor, liver disease, kidney disease, are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Birth control should be used during treatment with oxaliplatin. Women should not breastfeed while taking oxaliplatin. Because this medication can decrease the ability to fight infections, you should try to avoid people who sick during treatment. Exposure to cold may worsen side effects, so cold drinks, air conditioners, freezers, cold water, and cold weather should be avoided as much as possible.

Possible side effects of oxaliplatin may include:

  • Numbness, burning, or tingling in the fingers, toes, hands, feet, mouth, or throat
  • Pain in the hands or feet
  • Increased sensitivity, especially to cold
  • Decreased sense of touch
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Mouth sores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in ability to taste food
  • Muscle, back or joint pain
  • Insomnia
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin, or redness/peeling on the hands and feet
  • Anxiety, depression, or other mood changes
  • Sweating or flushing

Some of oxaliplatin’s side effects can be serious. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Stumbling or loss of balance when walking
  • Difficulty with everyday activities involving fine motor skills, such as writing or closing buttons
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Strange feeling in the tongue
  • Jaw tightening
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Fever, chills, sore throat or other signs of infection
  • Decreased urination, pain when urinating, bloody urine
  • Nosebleed
  • Vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds
  • Bright red blood in stools or stools that are black and tarry
  • Pale skin
  • Swelling in the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Problems with vision

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. Patients may experience additional effects not mentioned above.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), your team of cancer experts will explain each of the side effects of oxaliplatin with you in detail, as well as the side effects and expectations of all other medications planned as part of your individualized treatment plan.

Oxaliplatin for cancer treatment

Oxaliplatin is approved by the FDA for the following:

  • In combination with 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin for the treatment of stage III colon cancer after surgical removal of the tumor
  • In combination with 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin for the treatment of advanced colon and rectal cancer

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), our integrative approach to cancer treatment works to fight your disease on all fronts and ensures that you remain at the center of everything we do. We encourage participation from both you and your family to make certain you are comfortable with all decisions made regarding your treatment.

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. In no way should it be considered as offering medical advice. Cancer Treatment Centers of America assumes no responsibility for how this material is used. Please check with a physician if you suspect you are ill. Also note that while Cancer Treatment Centers of America frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly. Therefore, some information may be out of date.