What Precautions and Recommendations Are Necessary for Patients Receiving Oral Chemotherapy in the Home?

September 26, 2017 by Kathleen Wiley MSN, RN, AOCNS®

So far, 2017 has seen an incredible amount of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals for new agents and indications. Biotherapy and targeted agents represent many of the newly approved treatment options—a great deal of which are offered in oral form, increasing the opportunity for patients to receive treatment at home.

Although oral administration offers increased flexibility and convenience for patients, nurses are a critical part of ensuring that patients have the information necessary to keep them and their loved ones and caregivers safe. ONS guidelines and resources (https://www.ons.org/store/books/chemotherapy-and-biotherapy-guidelines-and-recommendations-practice-fourth-edition) offer the following recommendations for some of the common questions and issues that arise with oral antineoplastic therapy.

In many cases, oral antineoplastics carry a different toxicity profile than traditional parenteral chemotherapy agents. ONS offers an oral adherence toolkit that includes videos for patient education, symptom management, and tools for compliance and successful treatment management (see sidebar).

Copyright © 2017 by the Oncology Nursing Society. User has permission to print one copy for personal or unit-based educational use. Contact pubpermissions@ons.org for quantity reprints.