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Prospective observational study of adverse drug reactions of anticancer drugs used in cancer treatment in a tertiary care hospital

Author(s): VK Saini1, RK Sewal2, Yusra Ahmad1, B Medhi2
1Faculty of Pharmacy, Uttarakhand Technical University, Dehradun-248 007, India 2Department of Pharmacology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160 012, India

Correspondence Address:
B Medhi Department of Pharmacology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160 012 India E-mail: [email protected]

Adverse drug reactions associated with the use of anticancer drugs are a worldwide problem and cannot be ignored. Adverse drug reactions can range from nausea, vomiting or any other mild reaction to severe myelosuppression. The study was planned to observe the suspected adverse drug reactions of cancer chemotherapy in patients aged >18 years having cancer attending Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh. During the study period, 101 patients of breast cancer and 73 patients of lung cancer were screened for occurrence of adverse drug reactions during their treatment with chemotherapy. About 87.36% patients experienced adverse drug reactions, 90.09% and 83.56% of breast and lung cancer patients experienced at least one adverse drug reaction respectively. In breast cancer patients, 41.58% patients were prescribed fluorouracil+doxorubicin+cyclophosphamide while paclitaxel was prescribed to 22.77% patients. Alopecia (54.94%), nail discolouration (43.96%), dysgeusia (38.46%), anorexia (30.77%), nausea (29.67%), and neuropathy (29.67%) were found to be very common in breast cancer patients treated with single/combined regimen. In lung cancer group of patients, cisplatin with docetaxel, cisplatin with pemetrexed and cisplatin with irinotecan were prescribed to 30.14, 24.65 and 17.81% patients, respectively. Dysgeusia (40.98%), diarrhoea (39.34%), anorexia (32.77%) and constipation (31.15%) and alopecia (31.15%) were commonly observed adverse drug reactions having lung cancer patients. Causality assessments using World Health Organization causality assessment scale showed that observed adverse drug reactions were of probable (64.67%) and possible (35.33%) categories. Alopecia, dysgeusia, anorexia, constipation diarrhoea, nausea, nail discoloration were more prevalent amongst the cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

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