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Zanosar

Generic Name: streptozocin (STREP-toe-ZOE-sin)
Brand Name: Zanosar

Zanosar may cause severe, sometimes fatal kidney problems. The risk may be greater with higher doses. It may also cause liver problems, blood problems, diarrhea, and severe nausea and vomiting. It has also caused tumors and cancer in rodents.


Zanosar is used for:

Treating a certain type of pancreas cancer. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Zanosar is an antineoplastic. It works by stopping or slowing the spread of certain cancer cells.

Do NOT use Zanosar if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Zanosar
  • you are taking cimetidine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using Zanosar:

Some medical conditions may interact with Zanosar. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney or liver problems, bone marrow problems, diabetes, an infection, chickenpox, or shingles
  • if you are taking other cancer medicine or having radiation therapy
  • if you are taking medicines that may cause kidney problems. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the kidney.

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Zanosar. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Cimetidine because it may increase the risk of Zanosar's side effects
  • Doxorubicin because the risk of its side effects may be increased by Zanosar
  • Medicines that may harm the kidney (eg, aminoglycoside antibiotics [eg, gentamicin], amphotericin B, cyclosporine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] [eg, ibuprofen], tacrolimus, vancomycin) because the risk of kidney side effects may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Zanosar may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Zanosar:

Use Zanosar as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Zanosar is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • Zanosar is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • If Zanosar accidentally spills on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water.
  • If you miss a dose of Zanosar, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Zanosar.

Important safety information:

  • Zanosar may cause tiredness or confusion. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Zanosar with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Zanosar may cause severe and sometime fatal kidney problems. The risk may be greater in higher doses. Contact your doctor right away if you experience a change in the amount of urine produced, an inability to urinate, or sudden unexplained weight gain.
  • Zanosar may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Zanosar may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • If nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea occurs, ask your doctor for ways to lessen these effects.
  • Diabetes patients - Zanosar may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, complete blood cell counts, and blood electrolyte levels, may be performed while you use Zanosar. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Zanosar with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Zanosar may cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Zanosar while you are pregnant. It is not known if Zanosar is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Zanosar.

Possible side effects of Zanosar:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); change in the amount of urine produced; confusion; dark urine; depression; fever, chills, or sore throat; inability to urinate; mental or mood changes; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; severe nausea or vomiting; sudden unexplained weight gain; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Zanosar:

Zanosar is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Zanosar at home, store Zanosar as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Zanosar, as well as needles and syringes, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Zanosar, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Zanosar is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Zanosar or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Zanosar. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Zanosar. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Zanosar.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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