Medications under the “Cytotoxic” category interfere with division of body cells. Prolonged exposure or exposure to large amount of cytotoxic drugs can lead to serious harmful effects to the normal body cells e.g. blood cells and cells lining the stomach and intestines.
Medications under the “Caution” category are those which can cause health problems such as airway irritation, irregular heartbeat and in some cases, increase the possibility of abnormal development in embryo/fetus
These medications can be used to treat a variety of diseases. Exposure to these agents may cause irritation to the skin, eyes or mucous membrane. Hence, special precaution should be taken while handling cytotoxic/caution medications.
Do not handle these medications with your bare hands. Always wear a pair of disposable gloves when handling the tablets/capsules/syrups.
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling these medications.
Avoid handling these medications if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant or are breastfeeding
The tablets/capsules should be swallowed with some water and not chewed.
The dose prescribed may not always be one tablet or one capsule:
tablets, sometimes it may be necessary to halve or quarter the tablet in order to obtain the correct dose for the child. In such cases, use a tablet-cutter. Always wear gloves and cut the tablets in a still-air room. Use separate tablet cutters for cytotoxic and non-cytotoxic medications. (Please refer to the information below for more specific instructions)
capsules, it may be necessary to open the capsules in a still-air room and dissolve the contents in water before administration. Always wear gloves and mask. (Please refer to the information below for more specific instructions)
If you need to open a capsule, you need to take extra care not to inhale the powder.
In case of accidental exposure, this is what you should do:
Wash the area of contact thoroughly, with plenty of water.
Seek medical attention if there is any irritation over the area.
Any excess tablets/capsules/syrups should be returned to the hospital for disposal.
Double-bag the empty pill containers / oral syringes / syrup bottles before disposal with household waste.