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Supportive Care

Venous Flare Reactions: A Case Report of Reactions Following Etoposide Infusion

Jaya Mini Gill
Janice Frost
Rachelle Park
Marlon Garzo Saria
CJON 2018, 22(6), 597-599 DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.597-599

Venous flare reaction, a localized allergic response associated with the administration of an irritant, is one of the most common chemotherapy infusion–related reactions. Etoposide, a drug commonly used in patients with lung cancer, has been reported to be an irritant with vesicant properties depending on the volume administered. This article presents the case of a patient who has a venous flare reaction immediately following the administration of etoposide for the treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Managing such complications is crucial to maintaining patient safety. Proper training and education should be incorporated into nursing practice when identifying, preventing, and managing such reactions.


  • Etoposide is an irritant that is known to have vesicant properties in higher concentrations or larger volumes.
  • One of the critical skills of a chemotherapy-competent oncology nurse is the ability to distinguish between extravasation and venous flare reaction.
  • Evidence-based chemotherapy administration guidelines and institutional policies must guide nursing practice in the safe administration of chemotherapy.

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