Safety With Oral Chemotherapy Medication

Last Modified: May 8, 2012


I was given an oral chemotherapy to take at home. What should I know about safety regarding having a medication like this at home?

Gloria DiLullo, Oncology Nurse Practitioner at Penn Medicine responds:

Many people receive this type of chemotherapy at home and there are some important things you should know. We have some great information on our website about tips for managing chemotherapy at home. Check out these articles for more information:


Ursina Teitelbaum, MD, Medical Oncologist at Penn Medicine adds,

Even though these medications are oral, they are still real chemotherapy with the potential to decrease blood counts or cause other side effects. It is important to take them exactly as directed. If you are having side effects that are concerning, you need to let your oncology team know. Do not stop the chemotherapy pill without discussing first. It is also vital that you inform your care givers of all medications you are taking in addition, including prescription, over the counter, and alternative therapies. Also essential is not to double up on a dose if you miss a dose.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on Pancreatic Cancer Webchat.