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Oxaliplatin Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to oxaliplatin: intravenous powder for solution, intravenous solution

Along with its needed effects, oxaliplatin may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking oxaliplatin:

More common
  • Abnormal tongue sensation
  • black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blistering, peeling, redness, or swelling of the palms of the hands or bottoms of the feet
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • burning, prickling, itching, or tingling of the skin
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • decreased feeling, or pain in the hands, feet, around the mouth, or throat
  • decreased urination
  • difficulty performing daily activities such as writing, buttoning, swallowing, or walking
  • difficulty with articulating words
  • difficulty with breathing
  • difficulty with moving
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • eye pain
  • fainting
  • fever
  • increase in heart rate
  • jaw spasm
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • numbness
  • numbness, pain, tingling, or unusual sensations in the palms of the hands or bottoms of the feet
  • pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves
  • pain in the joints
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • rapid breathing
  • sensation of pins and needles
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stabbing pain
  • sunken eyes
  • swelling
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • thirst
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vision changes
  • wrinkled skin
Less common
  • Fast heartbeat
  • hives, itching, or skin rash
  • increased thirst
  • irregular heartbeat
  • loss of appetite
  • mood changes
  • nausea or vomiting
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • tightness in the chest
Incidence not known
  • Back, leg, or stomach pains
  • blindness
  • bloated abdomen
  • blue-yellow color blindness
  • blurred vision
  • changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
  • dark urine
  • deafness
  • decreased vision
  • deep breathing
  • drowsiness
  • electric shock-like sensation that moves down the back and into the legs following a bending movement of the neck
  • general body swelling
  • increased urination
  • irregular heartbeat, recurrent
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • loss of deep tendon reflexes
  • muscle cramps or spasms
  • muscle tremors
  • pain and fullness in the right upper abdomen
  • restlessness
  • severe constipation
  • severe diarrhea
  • severe nosebleeds
  • severe stomach cramps or tenderness
  • severe vomiting
  • trouble with speaking
  • twitches of the muscle visible under the skin
  • weakness of the muscles in your face
  • weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking oxaliplatin:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Agitation
  • coma
  • cough or hoarseness
  • diarrhea
  • disorientation
  • involuntary, rapid, or rhythmic movement of the eyes
  • lack of coordination
  • lack of sensation
  • lethargy
  • lower back or side pain
  • paralysis
  • respiratory failure
  • seizures
  • severe weakness
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • tremors
  • vomiting, profuse

Some side effects of oxaliplatin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • body aches or pain
  • ear congestion
  • feeling unusually cold, shivering
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • loss of voice
  • nasal congestion
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • trouble sleeping
  • weight loss
Less common
  • Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • bloated or full feeling
  • bloody nose
  • burning while urinating
  • change in taste
  • congestion
  • cracked lips
  • dryness or soreness of the throat
  • excess air or gas in stomach or intestines
  • feeling of warmth
  • hair loss
  • passing gas
  • rapid weight gain
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally upper chest
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • thinning of the hair
  • unusual tearing of the eyes
  • voice changes

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to oxaliplatin: intravenous powder for injection, intravenous solution

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Peripheral sensory neuropathy/paresthesia (92%), pharyngo-laryngeal dysesthesia (38.2%), headache (17%), taste perversion (14%), dizziness (13%), neurosensory reactions (12%), dysgeusia, rigors/tremors
Common (1% to 10%): Sensory disturbance, neuralgia, neuro NOS (not otherwise specified), vertigo, syncope, ataxia, somnolence, intracerebral bleeding, abnormal tongue sensation
Rare (less than 0.1%): Dysarthria/aphasia, RPLS/PRES
Frequency not reported: Vocal cord paralysis, aphonia/dysphonia/hoarseness, trigeminal neuralgia/facial pain, myoclonus, abnormal coordination/abnormal gait, ataxia/balance disorders
Postmarketing reports: Loss of deep tendon reflexes, Lhermitte's sign, cranial nerve palsies, fasciculations, convulsion[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anemia (85.2%), leukopenia (85%), neutropenia (82.2%), granulocytopenia (78.9%), thrombocytopenia (77.4%), fever without neutropenia (33%), infection - normal ANC (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Leukopenia, infection - low ANC, lymphopenia, febrile neutropenia, immune-allergic thrombocytopenia prolongation of prothrombin time and INR, neutropenic sepsis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
Postmarketing reports: Hemolytic uremic syndrome[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (74%), diarrhea (67%), vomiting (54.1%), stomatitis/mucositis (44%), abdominal pain (33%), constipation (32%), anorexia (29%), dyspepsia (14%), diarrhea - colostomy (13%)
Common (1% to 10%): Gastrointestinal NOS (not otherwise specified), flatulence, dry mouth, rectal bleeding, rectal pain, rectal hemorrhage, gastrointestinal reflux, ascites, hemorrhoids, melena, proctitis, intestinal obstruction, gingivitis, tenesmus, enlarged abdomen, vaginal hemorrhage
Frequency not reported: Gastrointestinal bleeding
Postmarketing reports: Colitis, Clostridium difficile diarrhea, ileus, pancreatitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (70.3%), infection (31.6%), fever (29%), asthenia (23.4%), edema (15%), pain (15%), peripheral edema (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Death, catheter infection, chest pain, unknown infection, feeling of chest pressure
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Ototoxicity
Postmarketing reports: Deafness, septic shock[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Alopecia (67%), skin disorder (35.5%), sweating (12%), hand-foot syndrome (11%), rash (11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus, dry skin, nail changes, pigmentation changes, urticaria, erythematous rash, purpura[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased transaminases (57%), abnormal alkaline phosphatase (56.5%), abnormal AST (54%), abnormal ALT (36%), bilirubinemia (20%)
Postmarketing reports: Liver veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, perisinusoidal fibrosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Cough (35%), dyspnea (20%), epistaxis (16%), rhinitis (15%), allergic rhinitis (10%), upper respiratory tract infection (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Hiccups, pneumonitis, other pulmonary reaction, hypoxia, pharyngitis, hemoptysis, pneumonia, bronchospasm
Rare (less than 0.1%): Acute interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis
Frequency not reported: Throat tightness/pressure/discomfort/pain
Postmarketing reports: Laryngospasm, other interstitial lung diseases[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anorexia (35%), hyperglycemia (14%), hypokalemia (11%), decreased weight (11%), increased weight (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dehydration, hypoalbuminemia, hyponatremia, hypocalcemia, elevated creatinine, other metabolic reactions
Postmarketing reports: Metabolic acidosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Back pain (19%), myalgia (14%), arthralgia (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Bone pain, muscle weakness, involuntary muscle contractions, jaw spasm/muscle spasm/muscle contractions
Frequency not reported: Muscle twitching
Postmarketing reports: Rhabdomyolysis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (13%)
Common (1% to 10%): Depression, anxiety, nervousness[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypersensitivity reaction (12%), allergic reaction (10.3%)
Postmarketing reports: Angioedema, anaphylactic shock[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Injection site reaction (11.1%)
Frequency not reported: Extravasation[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Flushing (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Thrombosis/phlebitis, thromboembolism, hypotension, hypertension, tachycardia, hot flashes
Postmarketing reports: QT prolongation, ventricular arrhythmias, Torsade de Pointes[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal micturition frequency, dysuria, hematuria, urinary incontinence[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Conjunctivitis, abnormal lacrimation, abnormal vision, tearing
Rare (less than 0.1%): Optic neuritis
Frequency not reported: Ptosis, diplopia, eye pain
Postmarketing reports: Decreased visual acuity, visual field disturbance/disorders, transient/reversible vision loss[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Secondary malignancies[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Altered renal function
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Renal tubular necrosis
Postmarketing reports: Acute interstitial nephritis, acute renal failure[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. "Product Information. Eloxatin (oxaliplatin)." Sanofi Winthrop Pharmaceuticals, New York, NY.

Some side effects of oxaliplatin may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.