How to Handle Oral Chemotherapy


Let's take a minute to talk about handling oral chemotherapy medications.

Oral chemotherapy is medicine that treats cancer that is taken by mouth. These medications help damage cancer cells, but they can also damage normal cells. Because of that, they must be handled very carefully. Simple steps can protect patients, family members and caregivers from harm.

When using oral chemotherapy, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands before and after handling your medicine. If you will be using gloves, make sure to throw the gloves away after each use. You should clean and wash any items or surfaces that come into contact with the medicine.

You should take your medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to follow these directions completely, and do not miss any doses. Do not crush, chew, or break the pills or capsules, unless your doctor tells you to. Sometimes, your dose may need to be changed by your healthcare provider.

Some people should avoid handling chemotherapy. Women who are pregnant, breast feeding, or could become pregnant should avoid contact with chemotherapy.

Make sure to store your medicine in its original container. Do not place it in pill boxes. Most oral chemotherapy drugs are stored at room temperature. Make sure it is stored away from heat and moisture. Sometimes, your medicine may need to be stored in the refrigerator. If you need to store your medication in the refrigerator, do not let it touch any food. Also, your medication should not come in contact with other medications. Make sure to keep it locked away from children and pets.

Chemotherapy can remain in your body for hours or even days. If someone has taken chemotherapy and vomits, the vomit may also contain some of the medicine.

If you have any medicine left over after your treatment, do not put it in the trash. Make sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist how to properly dispose of it.

If for some reason you are unable to take your medicine, please tell your doctor or pharmacist so he or she can help. Make sure to report any side effects when taking your oral chemotherapy.

For best results, follow these important safety precautions to keep this important medicine safe for you and others in your home.

Disclaimer - This information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Be sure to contact your physician, pharmacist or other health care provider for more information about this medication. By viewing these web site pages, you agree to our terms and conditions of use.