Generic Name Brand Name
oxaliplatin Eloxatin

How It Works

Oxaliplatin interrupts cancer cell growth and slows the spread of cancer cells in the body. Oxaliplatin is available for use by intravenous (IV) injection.

Why It Is Used

Oxaliplatin is used in combination with fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin for treatment of advanced colorectal cancer. Oxaliplatin is also used to treat advanced ovarian cancer.

In clinical trials, the combination of oxaliplatin, fluorouracil, and leucovorin, known as FOLFOX, shows promising results as treatment after surgery for stage II and stage III colorectal cancer.1

How Well It Works

Studies show that oxaliplatin may be effective in stopping some cancer cell activity that is resistant to some other anticancer drugs, such as cisplatin and carboplatin. It is most effective when it is used in combination with 5-FU and leucovorin. Test results show that this combination can be effective in slowing growth of the cancer.2

Side Effects

Oxaliplatin can cause serious side effects, including:

  • An allergic reaction.
  • Numbness, burning, and tingling.
  • Loss of feeling.
  • Mild, moderate, or severe pain.
  • Decreased bone marrow function.
  • Sores in the mouth or throat.
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Early results from recent studies suggest that the combination of oxaliplatin, 5-FU, and leucovorin may be effective in slowing cancer cell activity in advanced colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.2

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.



  1. National Cancer Institute (2005). Oxaliplatin-based regimen prolongs survival after colorectal cancer surgery. Available online: http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/results/mosiac-trial0603.
  2. Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) for advanced colon cancer (2003). Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, 45(1148): 7–8.

Last Updated: October 1, 2008

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.