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Generic name: streptozocin [ STREP-toe-zoe-sin ]
Brand name: Zanosar
Dosage form: intravenous powder for injection (1 g)
Drug class: Alkylating agents

Medically reviewed by on Aug 21, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is streptozocin?

Streptozocin is used to treat pancreatic cancer.

Streptozocin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Streptozocin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Streptozocin may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • little or no urinating, swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • confusion, loss of appetite, vomiting, pain in your side or lower back;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red spots under your skin;

  • liver problems--stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • low white blood cell counts--fever, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing.

Common side effects of streptozocin may include:

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • swelling, redness, burning, or tenderness where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Streptozocin can harm your liver or kidneys, and may also cause severe vomiting or diarrhea.

While receiving streptozocin, you should be able to get to a hospital or emergency room quickly in case you have a serious side effect. You may need frequent blood tests to make sure streptozocin is not causing harmful effects.

Before taking this medicine

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; or

  • bone marrow suppression.

Using streptozocin may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as stomach cancer. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.

Streptozocin may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

You should not breastfeed while using streptozocin.

How is streptozocin given?

Streptozocin is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Streptozocin can increase your risk of bleeding or infection. You will need frequent medical tests. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results.

Streptozocin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Pancreatic Cancer:

This drug can be given on a daily or weekly basis.

-Recommended Dose: 500 mg/m2 BSA IV by rapid injection or short/prolonged infusion once a day for 5 consecutive days every 6 weeks.
-Dose escalation is not recommended.
-Duration of Therapy: Until maximum benefit or until treatment-limiting toxicity occurs.

-Initial Dose: 1000 mg/m2 BSA IV by rapid injection or short/prolonged infusion at weekly intervals for first 2 courses.
-Maintenance Dose: After the first 2 courses, doses may be escalated in patients who have not achieved a therapeutic response and who have not experienced significant toxicity with the previous treatment course.
-Maximum Dose: Single dose of 1500 mg/m2 BSA

-The ideal duration of maintenance therapy for both dosing schedules has not been established.
-Therapy should be limited to patients with symptomatic or progressive metastatic disease due to the inherent renal toxicity of this drug.

Use: Treatment of metastatic islet cell carcinoma of the pancreas

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your streptozocin injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving streptozocin?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how streptozocin will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using streptozocin, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

What other drugs will affect streptozocin?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect streptozocin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.