August 24, 2016
Recommended Topic Related To:


"Oct. 23, 2012 -- Wider use of colonoscopy has led to a more dramatic decline in colorectal cancer rates, a new study suggests.

Colorectal cancer cases and deaths have been falling for decades, with the most recent decline likely due t"...





Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Allergic Reactions


Grade 3/4 hypersensitivity, including anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions, to ELOXATIN has been observed in 2-3% of colon cancer patients. These allergic reactions which can be fatal, can occur within minutes of administration and at any cycle, and were similar in nature and severity to those reported with other platinum-containing compounds, such as rash, urticaria, erythema, pruritus, and, rarely, bronchospasm and hypotension. The symptoms associated with hypersensitivity reactions reported in the previously untreated patients were urticaria, pruritus, flushing of the face, diarrhea associated with oxaliplatin infusion, shortness of breath, bronchospasm, diaphoresis, chest pains, hypotension, disorientation and syncope. These reactions are usually managed with standard epinephrine, corticosteroid, antihistamine therapy, and require discontinuation of therapy. Rechallenge is contraindicated in these patients [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. Drug-related deaths associated with platinum compounds from anaphylaxis have been reported.

Neurologic Toxicity


ELOXATIN is associated with two types of neuropathy:

An acute, reversible, primarily peripheral, sensory neuropathy that is of early onset, occurring within hours or one to two days of dosing, that resolves within 14 days, and that frequently recurs with further dosing. The symptoms may be precipitated or exacerbated by exposure to cold temperature or cold objects and they usually present as transient paresthesia, dysesthesia and hypoesthesia in the hands, feet, perioral area, or throat. Jaw spasm, abnormal tongue sensation, dysarthria, eye pain, and a feeling of chest pressure have also been observed. The acute, reversible pattern of sensory neuropathy was observed in about 56% of study patients who received ELOXATIN with 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin. In any individual cycle acute neurotoxicity was observed in approximately 30% of patients. In adjuvant patients the median cycle of onset for grade 3 peripheral sensory neuropathy was 9 in the previously treated patients the median number of cycles administered on the ELOXATIN with 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin combination arm was 6.

An acute syndrome of pharyngolaryngeal dysesthesia seen in 1-2% (grade 3/4) of patients previously untreated for advanced colorectal cancer, and the previously treated patients, is characterized by subjective sensations of dysphagia or dyspnea, without any laryngospasm or bronchospasm (no stridor or wheezing). Ice (mucositis prophylaxis) should be avoided during the infusion of ELOXATIN because cold temperature can exacerbate acute neurological symptoms.

A persistent ( > 14 days), primarily peripheral, sensory neuropathy that is usually characterized by paresthesias, dysesthesias, hypoesthesias, but may also include deficits in proprioception that can interfere with daily activities (e.g., writing, buttoning, swallowing, and difficulty walking from impaired proprioception). These forms of neuropathy occurred in 48% of the study patients receiving ELOXATIN with 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin. Persistent neuropathy can occur without any prior acute neuropathy event. The majority of the patients (80%) who developed grade 3 persistent neuropathy progressed from prior Grade 1 or 2 events. These symptoms may improve in some patients upon discontinuation of ELOXATIN.

In the adjuvant colon cancer trial, neuropathy was graded using a prelisted module derived from the Neuro-Sensory section of the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria (NCI CTC) scale, Version 1, as follows:

Table 1: NCI CTC Grading for Neuropathy in Adjuvant Patients

Grade Definition
Grade 0 No change or none
Grade 1 Mild paresthesias, loss of deep tendon reflexes
Grade 2 Mild or moderate objective sensory loss, moderate paresthesias
Grade 3 Severe objective sensory loss or paresthesias that interfere with function
Grade 4 Not applicable

Peripheral sensory neuropathy was reported in adjuvant patients treated with the ELOXATIN combination with a frequency of 92% (all grades) and 13% (grade 3). At the 28-day follow-up after the last treatment cycle, 60% of all patients had any grade (Grade 1=40%, Grade 2=16%, Grade 3=5%) peripheral sensory neuropathy decreasing to 39% at 6 months follow-up (Grade 1=31%, Grade 2=7%, Grade 3=1%) and 21% at 18 months of follow-up (Grade 1=17%, Grade 2=3%, Grade 3=1%).

In the advanced colorectal cancer studies, neuropathy was graded using a study-specific neurotoxicity scale, which was different from the NCI CTC scale, Version 2.0 (see below).

Table 2: Grading Scale for Paresthesias/Dysesthesias in Advanced Colorectal Cancer Patients

Grade Definition
Grade 1 Resolved and did not interfere with functioning
Grade 2 Interfered with function but not daily activities
Grade 3 Pain or functional impairment that interfered with daily activities
Grade 4 Persistent impairment that is disabling or life-threatening

Overall, neuropathy was reported in patients previously untreated for advanced colorectal cancer in 82% (all grades) and 19% (grade 3/4), and in the previously treated patients in 74% (all grades) and 7% (grade 3/4) events. Information regarding reversibility of neuropathy was not available from the trial for patients who had not been previously treated for colorectal cancer.

Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome

Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS, also known as PRES, Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome) has been observed in clinical trials ( < 0.1%) and postmarketing experience. Signs and symptoms of RPLS could be headache, altered mental functioning, seizures, abnormal vision from blurriness to blindness, associated or not with hypertension [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Diagnosis of RPLS is based upon confirmation by brain imaging.

Severe Neutropenia

Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia occurred in 41-44% of patients with colorectal cancer treated with ELOXATIN in combination with 5-flurouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin compared to 5% with 5-FU plus leucovorin alone. Sepsis, neutropenic sepsis and septic shock have been reported in patients treated with ELOXATIN, including fatal outcomes [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Delay ELOXATIN until neutrophils are ≥ 1.5 x 109/L. Withhold ELOXATIN for sepsis or septic shock. Dose reduce ELOXATIN after recovery from Grade 4 neutropenia or febrile neutropenia [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Pulmonary Toxicity

ELOXATIN has been associated with pulmonary fibrosis ( < 1% of study patients), which may be fatal. The combined incidence of cough and dyspnea was 7.4% (any grade) and < 1% (grade 3) with no grade 4 events in the ELOXATIN plus infusional 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin arm compared to 4.5% (any grade) and no grade 3 and 0.1% grade 4 events in the infusional 5fluorouracil/leucovorin alone arm in adjuvant colon cancer patients. In this study, one patient died from eosinophilic pneumonia in the ELOXATIN combination arm. The combined incidence of cough, dyspnea and hypoxia was 43% (any grade) and 7% (grade 3 and 4) in the ELOXATIN plus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin arm compared to 32% (any grade) and 5% (grade 3 and 4) in the irinotecan plus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin arm of unknown duration for patients with previously untreated colorectal cancer. In case of unexplained respiratory symptoms such as non-productive cough, dyspnea, crackles, or radiological pulmonary infiltrates, ELOXATIN should be discontinued until further pulmonary investigation excludes interstitial lung disease or pulmonary fibrosis.


Hepatotoxicity as evidenced in the adjuvant study, by increase in transaminases (57% vs. 34%) and alkaline phosphatase (42% vs. 20%) was observed more commonly in the ELOXATIN combination arm than in the control arm. The incidence of increased bilirubin was similar on both arms. Changes noted on liver biopsies include: peliosis, nodular regenerative hyperplasia or sinusoidal alterations, perisinusoidal fibrosis, and veno-occlusive lesions. Hepatic vascular disorders should be considered, and if appropriate, should be investigated in case of abnormal liver function test results or portal hypertension, which cannot be explained by liver metastases [see Clinical Trials Experience].

Cardiovascular Toxicity

QT prolongation and ventricular arrhythmias including fatal Torsade de Pointes have been reported in postmarketing experiences following ELOXATIN administration. ECG monitoring is recommended if therapy is initiated in patients with congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, drugs known to prolong the QT interval, including Class Ia and III antiarrhythmics, and electrolyte abnormalities. Correct hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia prior to initiating ELOXATIN and monitor these electrolytes periodically during therapy. Avoid ELOXATIN in patients with congenital long QT syndrome [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].


Rhabdomyolysis, including fatal cases, has been reported in patients treated with ELOXATIN. Discontinue ELOXATIN if any signs or symptoms of rhabdomyolysis occur. [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Use In Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category D

ELOXATIN may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of ELOXATIN in pregnant women. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while receiving treatment with ELOXATIN. [see Use in Specific Populations].

Recommended Laboratory Tests

Standard monitoring of the white blood cell count with differential, hemoglobin, platelet count, and blood chemistries (including ALT, AST, bilirubin and creatinine) is recommended before each ELOXATIN cycle [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

There have been reports while on study and from post-marketing surveillance of prolonged prothrombin time and INR occasionally associated with hemorrhage in patients who received ELOXATIN plus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin while on anticoagulants. Patients receiving ELOXATIN plus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin and requiring oral anticoagulants may require closer monitoring.

Patient Counseling Information

Advise patients:

  • To expect side effects of ELOXATIN, particularly its neurologic effects, both the acute, reversible effects and the persistent neurosensory toxicity. Patients should be informed that the acute neurosensory toxicity may be precipitated or exacerbated by exposure to cold or cold objects.
  • To avoid cold drinks, use of ice, and should cover exposed skin prior to exposure to cold temperature or cold objects.
  • Of the risk of low blood cell counts and to contact their physician immediately should fever, particularly if associated with persistent diarrhea, or evidence of infection develop.
  • To contact their physician if persistent vomiting, diarrhea, signs of dehydration, cough or breathing difficulties occur, or signs of allergic reaction appear.
  • To exercise caution when driving and using machines. No studies on the effects of the ability to operate cars and machines have been performed; however, oxaliplatin treatment resulting in an increase risk of dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and other neurologic symptoms that affect gait and balance may lead to a minor or moderate influence on the ability to drive and use machines.
  • Of the potential effects of vision abnormalities, in particular transient vision loss (reversible following therapy discontinuation), which may affect patients' ability to drive and use machines.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of oxaliplatin. Oxaliplatin was not mutagenic to bacteria (Ames test) but was mutagenic to mammalian cells in vitro (L5178Y mouse lymphoma assay). Oxaliplatin was clastogenic both in vitro (chromosome aberration in human lymphocytes) and in vivo (mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay).

In a fertility study, male rats were given oxaliplatin at 0, 0.5, 1, or 2 mg/kg/day for five days every 21 days for a total of three cycles prior to mating with females that received two cycles of oxaliplatin on the same schedule. A dose of 2 mg/kg/day (less than one-seventh the recommended human dose on a body surface area basis) did not affect pregnancy rate, but caused developmental mortality (increased early resorptions, decreased live fetuses, decreased live births) and delayed growth (decreased fetal weight).

Testicular damage, characterized by degeneration, hypoplasia, and atrophy, was observed in dogs administered oxaliplatin at 0.75 mg/kg/day x 5 days every 28 days for three cycles. A no effect level was not identified. This daily dose is approximately one-sixth of the recommended human dose on a body surface area basis.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category D

Based on direct interaction with DNA, ELOXATIN may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of ELOXATIN in pregnant women. Reproductive toxicity studies in rats demonstrated adverse effects on fertility and embryo-fetal development at maternal doses that were below the recommended human dose based on body surface area. If this drug is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant and use effective contraception while receiving treatment with ELOXATIN.

Pregnant rats were administered oxaliplatin at less than one-tenth the recommended human dose based on body surface area during gestation days 1-5 (pre-implantation), 6-10, or 11-16 (during organogenesis). Oxaliplatin caused developmental mortality (increased early resorptions) when administered on days 6-10 and 11-16 and adversely affected fetal growth (decreased fetal weight, delayed ossification) when administered on days 6-10. Administration of oxaliplatin to male and female rats prior to mating resulted in 97% post-implantation loss in animals that received approximately one-seventh the recommended human dose based on the body surface area.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether ELOXATIN or its derivatives are excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from ELOXATIN, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

The effectiveness of oxaliplatin in children has not been established. Oxaliplatin has been tested in 2 Phase 1 and 2 Phase 2 trials in 235 patients ages 7 months to 22 years with solid tumors (see below) and no significant activity observed.

In a Phase 1/2 study, oxaliplatin was administered as a 2-hour intravenous infusion on Days 1, 8 and 15 every 4 weeks (1 cycle), for a maximum of 6 cycles, to 43 patients with refractory or relapsed malignant solid tumors, mainly neuroblastoma and osteosarcoma. Twenty eight pediatric patients in the Phase 1 study received oxaliplatin at 6 dose levels starting at 40 mg/m² with escalation to 110 mg/m². The dose limiting toxicity (DLT) was sensory neuropathy at the 110 mg/m² dose. Fifteen patients received oxaliplatin at a dose of 90 mg/m² intravenous in the Phase 2 portion of the study. At this dose, paresthesia (60%, G3/4: 7%), fever (40%, G3/4: 7%) and thrombocytopenia (40%, G3/4: 27%) were the main adverse reactions. No responses were observed.

In a second Phase 1 study, oxaliplatin was administered to 26 pediatric patients as a 2-hour intravenous infusion on day 1 every 3 weeks (1 cycle) at 5 dose levels starting at 100 mg/m² with escalation to 160 mg/m², for a maximum of 6 cycles. In a separate cohort, oxaliplatin 85 mg/m² was administered on day 1 every 2 weeks, for a maximum of 9 doses. Patients had metastatic or unresectable solid tumors mainly neuroblastoma and ganglioneuroblastoma. No responses were observed. The DLT was sensory neuropathy at the 160 mg/m² dose. Based on these studies, oxaliplatin 130 mg/m² as a 2-hour intravenous infusion on day 1 every 3 weeks (1 cycle) was used in subsequent Phase II studies. A dose of 85 mg/m² on day 1 every 2 weeks was also found to be tolerable.

In one Phase 2 study, 43 pediatric patients with recurrent or refractory embryonal CNS tumors received oxaliplatin 130 mg/m² every 3 weeks for a maximum of 12 months in absence of progressive disease or unacceptable toxicity. In patients < 10 kg the oxaliplatin dose used was 4.3 mg/kg. The most common adverse reactions reported were leukopenia (67%, G3/4: 12%), anemia (65%, G3/4: 5%), thrombocytopenia (65%, G3/4: 26%), vomiting (65%, G3/4: 7%), neutropenia (58%, G3/4: 16%) and sensory neuropathy (40%, G3/4: 5%). One partial response was observed.

In a second Phase 2 study, 123 pediatric patients with recurrent solid tumors, including neuroblastoma, osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma or peripheral PNET, ependymoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, hepatoblastoma, high grade astrocytoma, Brain stem glioma, low grade astrocytoma, malignant germ cell tumor and other tumors of interest received oxaliplatin 130 mg/m² every 3 weeks for a maximum of 12 months or 17 cycles. In patients < 12 months old the oxaliplatin dose used was 4.3 mg/kg. The most common adverse reactions reported were sensory neuropathy (52%, G3/4: 12%), thrombocytopenia (37%, G3/4: 17%), anemia (37%, G3/4: 9%), vomiting (26%, G3/4: 4%), ALT increased (24%, G3/4: 6%), AST increased (24%, G3/4: 2%), and nausea (23%, G3/4: 3%). Two partial responses were observed.

The pharmacokinetic parameters of ultrafiltrable platinum have been evaluated in 105 pediatric patients during the first cycle. The mean clearance in pediatric patients estimated by the population pharmacokinetic analysis was 4.7 L/h. The inter-patient variability of platinum clearance in pediatric cancer patients was 41%. Mean platinum pharmacokinetic parameters in ultrafiltrate were Cmax of 0.75 ± 0.24 mcg/mL, AUC0-48 of 7.52 ± 5.07 mcg•h/mL and AUCinf of 8.83 ± 1.57 mcg•h/mL at 85 mg/m² of oxaliplatin and Cmax of 1.10 ± 0.43 mcg/mL, AUC 0-48 of 9.74 ± 2.52 mcg•h/mL and AUCinf of 17.3 ± 5.34 mcg•h/mL at 130 mg/m² of oxaliplatin.

Geriatric Use

No significant effect of age on the clearance of ultrafilterable platinum has been observed.

In the adjuvant therapy colon cancer randomized clinical trial, [see Clinical Studies] 723 patients treated with ELOXATIN and infusional 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin were < 65 years and 400 patients were ≥ 65 years.

A descriptive subgroup analysis demonstrated that the improvement in DFS for the ELOXATIN combination arm compared to the infusional 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin alone arm appeared to be maintained across genders. The effect of ELOXATIN in patients ≥ 65 years of age was not conclusive. Insufficient subgroup sizes prevented analysis by race. Patients ≥ 65 years of age receiving the ELOXATIN combination therapy experienced more grade 3-4 granulocytopenia than patients < 65 years of age (45% versus 39%).

In the previously untreated for advanced colorectal cancer randomized clinical trial [see Clinical Studies] of ELOXATIN, 160 patients treated with ELOXATIN and 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin were < 65 years and 99 patients were ≥ 65 years. The same efficacy improvements in response rate, time to tumor progression, and overall survival were observed in the ≥ 65 year old patients as in the overall study population. In the previously treated for advanced colorectal cancer randomized clinical trial [see Clinical Studies] of ELOXATIN, 95 patients treated with ELOXATIN and 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin were < 65 years and 55 patients were ≥ 65 years. The rates of overall adverse reactions, including grade 3 and 4 events, were similar across and within arms in the different age groups in all studies. The incidence of diarrhea, dehydration, hypokalemia, leukopenia, fatigue and syncope were higher in patients ≥ 65 years old. No adjustment to starting dose was required in patients ≥ 65 years old.

Patients With Renal Impairment

The exposure (AUC) of unbound platinum in plasma ultrafiltrate tends to increase in renally impaired patients [see Pharmacokinetics]. Caution and close monitoring should be exercised when ELOXATIN is administered to patients with renal impairment. The starting ELOXATIN dose does not need to be reduced in patients with mild (creatinine clearance=50-80 mL/min) or moderate (creatinine clearance=30-49 mL/min) renal impairment. However, the starting dose of ELOXATIN should be reduced in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance < 30 mL/min) [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/19/2015


Eloxatin - User Reviews

Eloxatin User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Eloxatin sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Get the latest treatment options.