Side effects of chemotherapy and targeted therapy
The side effects of chemotherapy and targeted therapy vary depending on the drugs given. Signs of a reaction to an infusion include flushing, low blood pressure, high temperature or itching. Reactions can be managed by giving the drug over several hours.
Chemotherapy drugs can affect your healthy cells, which may cause a range of side effects.
For example, you may:
- bruise easily
- feel very tired
- experience nausea or changes to taste and smell
- have an increased risk of infections (learn ways to manage this risk).
Side effects of chemotherapy tablets are usually mild, but the effects may be more troublesome if you have intravenous chemotherapy.
The side effects of targeted therapy may include:
- an increased risk of infection
Your haematologist will prescribe various medicines to help ease any side effects. Some people will need a blood transfusion.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr Kate Melville, Haematology Staff Specialist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Lecturer, The University of Newcastle; Karl Jobburn, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Haematology, Liverpool Hospital; Patricia Masters, Consumer; Karen Robinson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Dr Emma Verner, Staff Specialist, Haematology, and Medical Director, Bone Marrow Transplant and Apheresis Unit, Concord Hospital, and Clinical Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney.
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