About This Drug
Floxuridine is used to treat cancer. This drug is given in the vein (IV).
Possible Side Effects (More Common)
- Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding.
- Soreness of the mouth, lips, and throat. You may have red areas, white patches, or sores that hurt.
- Mild nausea and throwing up
- Hair loss. Hair loss is often complete scalp hair loss and can involve loss of eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair. You may notice this a few days or weeks after treatment has started. Most often hair loss is temporary; your hair should grow back when treatment is done.
- Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for several days
Possible Side Effects (Less Common)
- Stomach pain or cramps
- Skin and tissue irritation may involve redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site. This happens if the drug leaks out of the vein and into nearby tissue.
- Black, tarry stools
- Fever or chills
- Changes in kidney function. Your kidney function will be checked as needed.
- Raised, red rash on your arms, legs, back, or chest
- Scaling or redness of hands or feet
- Itching of skin
- Decreased hunger (appetite)
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Changes in liver function. Liver function will be checked as needed.
Allergic reactions to this drug are rare, but may happen in some patients. Signs of allergic reactions to this drug may be a rash, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, trouble breathing, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way. If this happens, do not take another dose of this drug. You should get urgent medical treatment.
Treating Side Effects
- Mouth care is very important. Your mouth care should consist of gently brushing with a very soft tooth brush and rinsing your mouth with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water or 1/2 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in 8 ounces of water. This should be done at least after every meal and at bedtime.
- Avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol. Also avoid alcohol and smoking because they can bother your mouth and throat.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine to help stop or lessen nausea, throwing up, and loose bowel movements (diarrhea)
- Talk with your nurse about getting a wig before you lose your hair. Also, call the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345 to find out information about the “Look Good, Feel Better” program close to where you live. It is a free program where women getting chemotherapy can learn about wigs, turbans and scarves as well as makeup techniques and skin and nail care.
- If you get a rash do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medicine if the rash bothers you
- Be careful when cooking, walking, and handling sharp objects and hot liquids.
- Use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment.
Food and Drug Interactions
There are no known interactions of floxuridine and any food. This drug may interact with other medication. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
- Trouble catching your breath
- Rash or itching
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking
- Throwing up more than three times in one day
- Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain may go away and come back or it can be constant. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes pain is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.
- Pain when passing urine, trouble passing urine
- Blood in the urine
- Lower back or side pain
- Feeling dizzy
- Stomach pain or cramps
- Black bowel movements that look like tar
- Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden bad headache with no known cause. If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911.
Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms:
- Pain in your mouth or throat that makes it hard to eat or drink
- Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) more than 4 times a day or diarrhea with weakness or feeling lightheaded
- Nausea that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Trouble walking or changes in the way you walk, feeling clumsy when buttoning clothes, opening jars, or other routine hand motions
- Feeling depressed
- Hoarse voice or voice changes
- Blurred vision or other changes in eyesight
- Passing smaller amounts of urine than normal
- Lasting loss of appetite or weight loss of five pounds or more in one week
- Extreme drowsiness
- Rash that bothers you
- Twitching of the eye
Sexual Problems and Reproduction Concerns
- Infertility warning: Sexual problems and reproduction concerns may happen. In both men and women, this drug may affect your ability to have children. This cannot be determined before your treatment. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.
- In men, this drug may interfere with your ability to make sperm, but it should not change your ability to have sexual relations.
- In women, menstrual bleeding may become irregular or stop while you are getting this drug. Do not assume that you cannot become pregnant if you do not have a menstrual period.
- Women may go through signs of menopause (change of life) like vaginal dryness or itching. Vaginal lubricants can be used to lessen vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sexual relations.
- Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment. Ask your doctor or nurse about effective methods of birth control.
- Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.
Revised August 2014