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Oxaliplatin is used in combination with other anticancer drugs to treat advanced cancer (not cured by other drugs) of colon, rectum or as additional treatment following surgery to remove tumor in colon.

How it works

Oxaliplatin belongs to a class of medications called platinum containing anti-neoplastic drugs. It works by interfering with DNA structure and function thus killing cancer cells and slowing tumor growth.

Common side effects

Nausea, Nose bleed, Peripheral sensory neuropathy, Blood clot in the lungs, Rash, Liver enzyme increased, Abdominal pain, Abnormal micturition frequency, Hormone imbalance, Allergic reaction, Slow growth in children and teenagers, Altered blood sugar level, Joint pain, Back pain, Blood in urine, Bone pain, Conjunctivitis, Constipation, Cough, Deep vein thrombosis, Depression, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Bitter taste, Shortness of breath, Difficulty in urination, Electrolyte imbalance, Decreased red blood cell count, Fatigue, Fever, Flushing, Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, Hair loss, Headache, Hiccup, Decreased potassium level in blood, Increased creatinine level in blood, Increased sweating, Indigestion, Injection site reaction, Insomnia, Loss of appetite, Meningism, Motor neuritis, Nail disorder, Respiratory tract infection, Nasal infection, Rectal haemorrhage (bleeding), Skin peeling, Stomatitis, Visual impairment, Vomiting, Weakness, Weight loss, Weight gain


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Expert advice

  • Do not start oxaliplatin if your blood counts are too low or have weakness, numbness, disturbances of feeling or taste after taking oxaliplatin treatment, if you are taking 5-fluorouracil.
  • Take precautions as oxaliplatin may reduce the ability of your body fight infections.
  • Avoid situations that may put you at risk of bleeding as oxaliplatin can reduce clot forming cells in your body.
  • Take necessary precaution as oxaliplatin can make you more sensitive to cold, which can cause numbness, tingling, and muscle spasms.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as oxaliplatin can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and other neurologic symptoms.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is oxaliplatin a vesicant, chemo drug, alkylating agent?
Oxaliplatin is a vesicant, chemotherapeutic drug. Oxaliplatin is not an alkylating agent it is a platinum containing antineoplastic agent.
Q. Is oxaliplatin highly emetogenic, ototoxic (hearing loss), cause hair loss, infertility, diarrhea, neuropathy, cold sensitivity?
Oxaliplatin is highly emetogenic, can cause hair loss, temporary infertility, diarrhea, neuropathy, cold sensitivity. Oxaliplatin is not ototoxic.
Q. How is oxaliplatin administered?
Oxaliplatin is administered as intravenous infusion or bolus injection.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)