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Zanosar

Generic Name: streptozocin (STREP toe zoe sin)
Brand Name: Zanosar

Medically reviewed on August 4, 2017

What is Zanosar?

Zanosar is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Zanosar is used to treat pancreatic cancer.

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

Important Information

You should not receive Zanosar if you have kidney or liver disease, a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder, or bone marrow suppression.

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

While receiving Zanosar, 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 this medicine is not causing harmful effects.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Zanosar if you are allergic to it.

To make sure Zanosar is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; or

  • bone marrow suppression.

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

Do not use Zanosar if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether Zanosar passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How is streptozocin given?

Zanosar is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Zanosar can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Zanosar 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 Zanosar?

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 Zanosar, 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.

This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Zanosar 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.

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 (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin; or

  • fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea;

  • drowsiness;

  • depression; 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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Zanosar?

Other drugs may interact with streptozocin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

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.

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