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ZANOSAR (streptozocin) is indicated in the treatment of metastatic islet cell carcinoma of the pancreas. Responses have been obtained with both functional and nonfunctional carcinomas. Because of its inherent renal toxicity, therapy with this drug should be limited to patients with symptomatic or progressive metastatic disease.


ZANOSAR (streptozocin) should be administered intravenously by rapid injection or short/prolonged infusion. It is not active orally. Although it has been administered intraarterially, this is not recommended pending further evaluation of the possibility that adverse renal effects may be evoked more rapidly by this route of administration.

Two different dosage schedules have been employed successfully with ZANOSAR (streptozocin) .

Daily Schedule - The recommended dose for daily intravenous administration is 500 mg/m2 of body surface area for five consecutive days every six weeks until maximum benefit or until treatment-limiting toxicity is observed. Dose escalation on this schedule is not recommended.

Weekly Schedule - The recommended initial dose for weekly intravenous administration is 1000 mg/m2 of body surface area at weekly intervals for the first two courses (weeks). In subsequent courses, drug doses may be escalated in patients who have not achieved a therapeutic response and who have not experienced significant toxicity with the previous course of treatment. However, A SINGLE DOSE OF 1500 mg/m2 BODY SURFACE AREA SHOULD NOT BE EXCEEDED as a greater dose may cause azotemia. When administered on this schedule, the median time to onset of response is about 17 days and the median time to maximum response is about 35 days. The median total dose to onset of response is about 2000 mg/m2 body surface area and the median total dose to maximum response is about 4000 mg/m2 body surface area.

The ideal duration of maintenance therapy with ZANOSAR (streptozocin) has not yet been clearly established for either of the above schedules.

For patients with functional tumors, serial monitoring of fasting insulin levels allows a determination of biochemical response to therapy. For patients with either functional or nonfunctional tumors, response to therapy can be determined by measurable reductions of tumor size (reduction of organomegaly, masses, or lymph nodes).

Reconstitute ZANOSAR (streptozocin) with 9.5 mL of Dextrose Injection USP, or 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection USP. The resulting pale-gold solution will contain 100 mg of streptozocin and 22 mg of citric acid per mL. Where more dilute infusion solutions are desirable, further dilution in the above vehicles is recommended. The total storage time for streptozocin after it has been placed in solution should not exceed 12 hours. This product contains no preservatives and is not intended as a multiple-dose vial.

Caution in the handling and preparation of the powder and solution should be exercised, and the use of gloves is recommended. If the sterile powder of ZANOSAR (streptozocin) or a solution prepared from ZANOSAR (streptozocin) contacts the skin or mucosae, immedi-ately wash the affected area with soap and water.

Procedures for proper handling and disposal of anticancer drugs should be considered. Several guidelines on this subject have been published.1-7 There is no general agreement that all of the procedures recommended in the guidelines are necessary or appropriate.


ZANOSAR (streptozocin) is supplied in 1 gram vials (NDC 0009-0844-01). Unopened vials of ZANOSAR (streptozocin) should be stored at refrigeration temperatures (2° to 8°C) and protected from light (preferably stored in carton).


1. Recommendations for the Safe Handling of Parenteral Antineoplastic Drugs, NIH Publication No. 83-2621. For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

2. AMA Council Report. Guidelines for Handling Parenteral Antineoplastics. JAMA. 1985; 2.53(11):1590-1592.

3. National Study Commission on Cytotoxic Exposure - Recommendations for Handling Cytotoxic Agents. Available from Louis P. Jeffrey, ScD., Chairman, National Study Commission on Cytotoxic Exposure, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, 179 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

4. Clinical Oncological Society of Australia, Guidelines and Recommendations for Safe Handling of Antineoplastic Agents. Med J Australia, 1983; 1:426-428.

5. Jones RB, et al: Safe Handling of Chemotherapeutic Agents: A Report from the Mount Sinai Medical Center. CA - A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 1983; (Sept/Oct) 258-263.

6. American Society of Hospital Pharmacists Technical Assistance Bulletin on Handling Cytotoxic and Hazardous Drugs. AM J. Hosp Pharm, 1990; 47:1033-1049.

7. Controlling Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Drugs. (OSHA Work-Practice Guidelines), Am J Health-Syst Pharm, 1996; 53:1669-1685.

Pharmacia & Upjohn Company. A subsidiary of Pharmacia Corporation. Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001, USA. Revised February 2003.

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/26/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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