Managing the Side Effects of Cancer and Cancer Treatment
Drugs to Help Manage Nausea and Vomiting
- Dexamethasone (Decadron)
- Dronabinol (Marinol)
- Granisetron (Kytril)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Metoclopramide (Octamide, Metoclopramide Intensol, Reglan)
- Ondansetron (Zofran)
- Prochlorperazine (Compazine)
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- Abdominal pain
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
- Clumsiness or unsteadiness
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision, change in color vision, or difficulty seeing at night
- Loss of balance
- Restlessness or need to keep moving
- Shuffling walk
- Stiffness of arms or legs
- Trembling and shaking of hands and fingers
- Diarrhea (with high doses)
Drugs to Decrease Pain
- Pain from cancer that has spread to your bones
- Edema (fluid build up in cells) caused by tumors or treatment
- COX 2 antagonists ( Celebrex )
- Stomach cramps, pain, or discomfort
- Dizziness, drowsiness, or lightheadedness
- Heartburn, indigestion, nausea, or vomiting
- Dexamethasone (Cortastat, Decadrol, Decadron, Dexamethasone Intensol, Dexasone, Hexadrol, Mymethasone, Primethasone)
- Prednisone (Cordrol, Deltasone, Liquid Pred, Meticorten, Orasone, Prednicot, Prednisone Intensol)
- Increased appetite
- Nervousness or restlessness
- Fentanyl transdermal patch (Duragesic)
- Hydrocodone (Dilaudid, Hydrostat)
- Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
- Morphine (Astramorph PF, Duramorph, Kadian, MS Contin, Rescudose, Roxanol)
- Oxycodone (Roxicodone, OxyContin)
- Acetaminophen with hydrocodone ( Vicodin )
- Acetaminophen with oxycodone ( Percocet )
- Dizziness, light-headedness, or feeling faint
- Nausea or vomiting
- Constipation—A study found that the medicine methylnaltrexone (Relistor) can rapidly relieve this side effect.
Drugs to Support Your Blood Cells
- Darbepoetin alpha (Aranesp)
- Epoetin /EPO/Erythropoietin (Epogen, Procrit)
- Filgrastim /G-CSF (Neupogen)
- Oprelvekin (Neumega)
- Pegfilgrastim (Neulasta)
- Changes in blood pressure
- Muscle aches
- Pain in arms or legs
- Pain in joints or muscles
- Pain in lower back or pelvis
- Skin rash or itching
- Cough, sneezing, or sore throat
- Swelling of face, fingers, ankles, feet, or lower legs
- Weight gain
- Bone pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Shortness of breath
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Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn’s Current Therapy. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co; 2002: 527-529.
Sleisenger MH, Fordtran JS, Scharschmidt B. Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co; 1998: 733-749.
6/25/2008 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamicmedical.com/what.php : Thomas J, Karver S, Cooney GA, et al. Methylnaltrexone for opioid-induced constipation in advanced illness. N Engl J Med. 2008;358:2332-2343.
11/30/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : US Food and Drug Administration. Propoxyphene: withdrawal—risk of cardiac toxicity. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm234389.htm . Published November 19, 2010. Accessed November 30, 2010.
1/4/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : US Food and Drug Administration. Anzemet (dolasetron mesylate): drug safety communication—reports of abnormal heart rhythms. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm237341.htm . Updated December 17, 2010. Accessed January 4, 2011.
- Reviewer: Igor Puzanov, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 09/27/2012 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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