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Zanosar Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 3/28/2016

Zanosar (streptozocin) is an antineoplastic (anticancer) medication used to treat cancer of the pancreas. Common side effects of Zanosar include:

Other serious side effects of Zanosar include:
  • allergic reaction
  • kidney damage, or
  • liver problems.

The daily dosage recommendation for Zanosar is 500 mg/m2 of body surface area for five consecutive days every six weeks. The recommended weekly dosage is 1000 mg/m2 of body surface area per week for the first two weeks, at which point dosage may be increased but not exceed 1500 mg/m2 of body surface area in a single dose. Talk to your doctor if you have renal disease or take medications that affect the kidney as these may increase your risk of renal toxicity. Zanosar may interact with "live" vaccines. Caution should be taken if you take Zanosar while pregnant and should only be used if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. Do not take Zanosar if you are breastfeeding.

Our Zanosar (streptozocin) Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information as well as related drugs, user reviews, supplements, and diseases and conditions articles.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Zanosar in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects from streptozocin, contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical attention:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • kidney damage (little or no urine production, blood in the urine);
  • liver problems (changes in blood test results, abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, decreased appetite, nausea);
  • decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; or fever, chills, or signs of infection); or
  • severe nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea.

In some cases, secondary cancers have been reported to occur during and following treatment with streptozocin. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue taking streptozocin and talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea;
  • drowsiness;
  • confusion;
  • depression; or
  • swelling, redness, burning, or tenderness at the injection site.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Zanosar (Streptozocin)

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Zanosar FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)





Most patients treated with ZANOSAR have experienced severe nausea and vomiting, occasionally requiring discontinuation of drug therapy. Some patients experienced diarrhea. A number of patients have experienced hepatic toxicity, as characterized by elevated liver enzyme (SGOT and LDH) levels and hypoalbuminemia.


Hematological toxicity has been rare, most often involving mild decreases in hematocrit values. However, fatal hematological toxicity with substantial reductions in leukocyte and platelet count has been observed.


Mild to moderate abnormalities of glucose tolerance have been noted in some patients treated with ZANOSAR. These have generally been reversible, but insulin shock with hypoglycemia has been observed.


Two cases of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus following therapy with ZANOSAR have been reported. One had spontaneous recovery and the second responded to indomethacin.

Post-Marketing Experience

Spontaneous reports have been received of local inflammation (i.e., edema, erythema, burning, tenderness) following extravasation of the product. In most cases, these events resolved the same day or within a few days.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Zanosar (Streptozocin)

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.


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