What Are Oxaliplatin Side Effects?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2018
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Oxaliplatin side effects are generally mild and do not pose any significant health risks, although any bothersome symptoms that develop after taking this medication should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation. Some of the most commonly reported oxaliplatin side effects include dizziness, hair loss, and gastrointestinal disturbances. More severe side effects may include jaundice, visual disturbances, or a severe type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Any questions or concerns regarding specific oxaliplatin side effects should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Dizziness, fatigue, and hair loss are common oxaliplatin side effects and generally go away without treatment once the medication has been discontinued. Gastrointestinal disturbances may include nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. Intestinal gas, heartburn, or abdominal bloating may also occur. If these symptoms are persistent or become severe, a doctor should be consulted in order to rule out the possibility of severe complications, such as intestinal bleeding.

Additional oxaliplatin side effects may include increased tear production, persistent hiccups, or runny nose. Swelling or discomfort at the injection site may occur, but these symptoms usually go away within a few hours. Muscle or joint pain are relatively common side effects of this medication, although severe muscle pain should be reported to a doctor.


Some oxaliplatin side effects may indicate the presence of complications that should be medically addressed right away. An itchy rash; difficulty breathing; or swelling of the face, lips, or tongue are potential symptoms of a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Without immediate medical treatment, this condition can become fatal within a matter of minutes.

Urinary problems may sometimes arise when taking oxaliplatin. Blood in the urine or a change in the amount of urine produced should be evaluated by a physician. Pain or swelling in the groin area may also indicate the presence of a serious complication and should be reported immediately.

Jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin or eyes, may occur when using this medication and can indicate damage to the liver. Severe headaches or swelling of the feet or hands should be reported to a doctor. Fever, chills, or sore throat may suggest the presence of an infection and are normally treated with prescription antibiotics. Low potassium levels may occur, causing symptoms such as irregular heartbeat or muscle cramps. Loss of motor skill control may occasionally occur, leading to difficulty walking, talking, or performing normal daily tasks.



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