5-Fluorouracil and Capecitabine: Assessment and Treatment of Uncommon Early-Onset Severe Toxicities Associated With Administration

Edith Brutcher

Deborah Christensen

Melissa Hennessey Smith

Judy B. Koutlas

Jean B. Sellers

Tahitia Timmons

Joanna Thompson

fluorouracil, capecitabine, uridine triacetate, overdose, side effects
CJON 2018, 22(6), 627-634. DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.627-634

Background: Uncommon early-onset severe toxicities from 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and capecitabine can be fatal if early warning signs are not recognized and treated promptly.

Objectives: This article delineates the differences between expected side effects and uncommon early-onset severe toxicities from 5-FU and capecitabine. It also provides background for understanding the reasons patients may develop these toxicities and reviews the efficacy of standard supportive care against a novel therapy (uridine triacetate).

Methods: A panel of nurses convened to review the literature about toxicities associated with 5-FU and capecitabine administration and determined methods to educate nurses about toxicities and treatment.

Findings: Standard supportive care for 5-FU and capecitabine toxicities is associated with high fatality rates. Uridine triacetate treatment within 96 hours of administration is associated with survival.

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