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Oxaliplatin is a chemotherapy that is used in the treatment of coloretal cancer.

Oxaliplatin is given intraveneously. The oral form is known as Capecitabine.

Oxaliplatin belongs to the group of medicines called antineoplastics. It interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed.  Like other platinum-based compounds, oxaliplatin exerts its cytotoxic effect mostly through DNA damage. 

Like all chemotherapies, there are generally side effects from Oxaliplatin. According to Johns Hopkins Medical: side effects generally go away as time passes with the exception that Oxaliplatin appears to cause nerve damage that may start as early as when the drug is first infused. The damage may worsen even months after treatment ends. It may even be permanent.    

Following are common side effects from Oxaliplatin. While these side effects are common, there is no way to know with respect to any particular person which side effects will show up, how severe they will be, or how long they will last. For information about the side effect, and tips for reducing the effect, click on the link.

  • Pain along the vein where the drug is given.
  • Sensitivity to cold accompanied by a tightness or painful sensation in the throat. Because this symptom can start during infusion of the chemo or immediately after, it is advisable to start planning for this side effect before treatment. 
  • Nausea or vomiting - usually mild to moderate in intensity
  • Diarrhea
  • A temporary decrease in the white blood cells that help fight infection. To learn how to avoid infection in a variety of settings, click here
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness, tingling and/or burning in the fingers or toes. This is known as neuropathy.

Seek medical attention if you experience persistent vomiting, diarrhea, fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, signs of dehydration or infection, cough, breathing difficulties, signs of bleeding and allergic reactions such as a rash.

Vision abnormalities may impair ability to drive and use machinery. Promptly report any vision problems to your doctor.