Our therapy management program provides regular telephone calls from pharmacists who have special training in cancer treatment. A pharmacist calls you monthly to assess how you’re doing with the medication, provide helpful tips, information about staying on schedule and ways to manage and reduce side effects.
During this phone call your medication can be refilled and set up for delivery.
How should I take Oral Chemotherapy?
- Swallow each tablet or capsule whole. Do not break, crush, or chew.
- Prepare your drug away from food and food prep areas.
- If you are unable to swallow the pill, speak with your nurse or pharmacist about other ways to take your medication.
- If you vomit or throw up your medication, call your physician for further instructions.
- Wash your hands after taking the medication. Avoid handling crushed or broken pills (tablets or capsules).
What do I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take the dose as soon as you remember unless it is almost time for the next dose. Do not double dose to make for a missed dose. Call your provider or pharmacist for more direction if you miss a dose.
The side effects of any form of chemotherapy vary from drug to drug and from person to person. Some oral chemotherapy drugs can cause:
- Stomach upset (nausea)
- Throwing up (vomiting)
- Loose or watery bowel movements (diarrhea)
- Hair loss
- Mouth sores
- Skin changes
- Low blood counts
Make sure you know what side effects to look for before you start the new medication. Ask if there are any side effects that you should call the doctor or nurse about right away. Telling your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about side effects as soon as they happen can help make sure that the problem does not become dangerous. Your doctor may have to change the dose you’re taking or give you other drugs to help you feel better and manage the side effects.
- Keep your medicine in its original container.
- Keep it away from other medications and out of the reach of children or pets.
- Do not store oral chemotherapy pills in a bathroom with a shower, on your windowsill, or in an automobile.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after you take the pills.
- Do not crush, break, or chew your pills.
Caregivers should be extra cautious when administering the drug. Avoid handling with bare hands. Empty pill(s) into cap lid or small plastic cup for dispensing. You may wear latex gloves, if contact is unavoidable. The only person exposed to the drug should be the patient.
If you have unused oral chemotherapy pills (tablets or capsules), please return them to the pharmacy where the prescription was filled. Do not flush down the toilet, dump in the sink, or throw away in the trash.
For more information about your specific therapy please call 1-877-218-4499 or email EinsteinAtCenterOnePharmacy@einstein.edu and a pharmacist will be able to provide specific information about your drug therapy.