Drug Alert:CHEMO DRUG It causes sclerosis

Doctors who are administering the antineoplastic drug epirubicin are finding that it is invariably causing venous sclerosis in patients, and it’s such a common side-effect that they are beginning to question its use.

The problem was first highlighted by a recent research study, and a follow-up letter to the British Medical Journal suggests that it is happening too often, and more frequently than even the original study suggested.

Elaine Lennan, a consultant cancer nurse at the Southampton Cancer Centre, has noted that 19 of the 21 women given the chemo drug suffered venous problems afterwards. Of these, 17 reported having painful, hard and tethered veins, and two patients had to stop the treatment because the problem became too painful (BMJ, 2005; 331: 966).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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