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If your treatment plan includes chemotherapy, you’ll get to know some of these drugs, often given in various combinations.

Adriamycin

(Doxorubicin) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects

    • Hair loss
    • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Mouth sores
    • Discolored urine
    • Skin and nail changes
    • Sensitivity to the sun

IMPORTANT:

This kind of chemo (anthracycline) may affect your heart muscle. Check with your doctor before exercising and weightlifting.

Asparaginase

A-SPARE-a-gin-ase Given by injection.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Changes in blood clotting
    • Fever and chills
    • Allergic reaction
    • Lethargy, sleepiness and confusion

Bleomycin

Blee-oh-MY-sin (Blenoxane) Given through IV or injection.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Fever and chills
    • Skin and nail changes
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Changes to the lungs

Busulfan

Byoo-SUL-fan (Myleran) Given through IV or taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
    • Hair loss
    • Mouth sores
    • Seizures
    • Skin changes

Carboplatin

KAR-bo-plat-in (Paraplatin) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Poor appetite
    • May affect your kidneys
    • Will lower your pH ct.
    • Hearing loss

Carmustine

kar-MUS-teen (BCNU) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Changes to the skin

Cis-Platinum

siss-PLAT-in (Cisplatin) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Nausea and vomiting (may get worse after a few days)
    • Your kidneys may be affected
    • Changes to your skin
    • Hearing loss
    • May cause numbness or tingling in hands or feet

IMPORTANT:

Drink lots of fluid while on this drug. Keep anti-nausea meds nearby!

Cyclophosphamide

Sye-kloe-FOSS-fa-mide (Cytoxan) Given through IV or taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Hair loss
    • Bladder irritation
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Poor of appetite

Cytarabine

Sye-TARE-a-been (ARA-C; Cytosar) Given by injection, IV or intrathecal (injected into fluid around spinal cord).

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Nausea / vomiting /diarrhea
    • Eye irritation
    • Mouth sores
    • Rash
    • A flu-like effect

Dacarbazine

Da-KAR-ba-zeen (DTIC-Dome) Given through IV

  • Most common side effects:

    • Nausea and vomiting, poor appetite
    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Flu-like effect
    • Hair loss

Daunorubicin

Daw-noe-ROO-bi-sun (Daunomycin) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Hair loss
    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Mouth sores
    • Discolored urine

IMPORTANT:

This kind of chemo (anthracycline) may affect your heart muscle. Check with your doctor before exercising or weightlifting.

Etoposide

E-TOE-poe-side (VP-16) Given through IV or taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Hair loss
    • Nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea
    • Temporary taste alterations
    • Mouth sores
    • Skin changes

5-Flourouracil

floor-oh-YOOR-a-sill (5-FU) Given through IV or taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Mouth sores
    • Diarrhea
    • Eye sensitivity
    • Skin changes
    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Hair loss
    • Sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
    • Rashes

Fludarabine

Flu-DAHR-a-been (Fludara) Given through IV or taken by mouth

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression

Hydroxyurea

Hye-DROX-ee-yoo-REE-ah (Hydrea) Taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Skin changes

Idarubicin

Eye-dah-ROO-bah-sin (Idamycin) Given through IV or taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Mouth sores and ulcers
    • Hair loss

IMPORTANT:

This kind of chemo (anthracycline) may affect your heart muscle. Check with your doctor before exercising or weightlifting.

Ifosphamide

Eye-FOSS-fah-mide (Ifex) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Hair loss
    • Irritation of the bladder
    • Changes to nails

Lomustine

Loe-MUS-teen (CCNU; CeeNu) Taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Mouth sores

Mechlorethamine

Me-klor-ETH-a-meen (Nitrogen Mustard) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Hair loss
    • Rash

Melphalan

MEL-fa-lan (Alkeran) Given through IV or taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Mouth sores
    • Diarrhea
    • Hair loss
    • Skin changes

Mercaptopurine

Mer-kap-toe-PYOOR-een (Purinethol) Taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Mouth sores
    • Skin changes

Methotrexate

Meth-o-TREX-ate (Mexate) Given by mouth, injection, IV or intrathecal (injected into fluid around spinal cord).

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Mouth sores
    • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
    • Skin changes, rash, hair loss

Mitoxantrone

My-toe-ZAN-trone (Novatrone®) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Discolored urine
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Mouth sores
    • Hair lossWhites of eyes may have a slight blue tint

This is a blue colored medicine.

IMPORTANT:

This kind of chemo (anthracycline) may affect your heart muscle. Check with your doctor before exercising or weightlifting.

Paclitaxel

PACK-lih-tax-el (Taxol®) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Mouth sores
    • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
    • Hair loss
    • Aching or pain in joints and muscles (usually after 2-3 days. Gets better within 5-7 days)
    • Skin changes
    • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
    • Allergic reaction

Procarbazine

Pro-KAR-ba-zeen (Matulane; Natulan) Given through IV or taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Alcohol should be avoided while taking this drug
    • Delayed low pH. ct.

Teniposide

ten-IP-oh-side (Vumon) Given through IV

  • Most common side effects:

    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • Fever, chills
    • Allergic reaction

6-Thioguanine

Six-thigh-oh-GWAN-neen (6-TG) Taken by mouth.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Raised levels of uric acid in the blood
    • Skin changes
    • Mouth sores

Vinblastine

Vin-BLAS-teen (Velban) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Bone marrow depression (lowering counts)
    • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
    • Hair loss
    • Mouth sores
    • Constipation
    • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet

Vincristine

Vin-KRIS-teen (Oncovin; VCR) Given through IV.

  • Most common side effects:

    • Abdominal cramps and constipation
    • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
    • Jaw pain