Drugs A - Z

Streptozocin Solution for injection

It interferes with the growth of rapidly growing cells like cancer cells

Generic Name: streptozocin

Brand Names: Zanosar

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

    Experience of Supervising Clinician
  • Administer only under supervision of qualified clinicians experienced in use of cytotoxic therapy. Hospitalization not required; however, adequate diagnostic and treatment facilities should be readily available to monitor drug tolerance and to manage complications.
    Major Toxicities
  • Renal toxicity is dose related and cumulative; may be severe or fatal.
  • Nausea and vomiting may be severe and/or treatment limiting.
  • Hepatic dysfunction, diarrhea, and hematologic changes observed in some patients.
  • Streptozocin is mutagenic. When given parenterally, found to be tumorigenic or carcinogenic in some rodents.
  • Weigh benefits against known toxic effects; clinician must be familiar with prescribing information before beginning therapy.

What is this medicine?

STREPTOZOCIN (strep toe ZOE sin) is a chemotherapy drug. It interferes with the growth of rapidly growing cells like cancer cells. This medicine is used to treat pancreatic cancer.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • diabetes
  • infection (especially virus infection such as chickenpox or herpes)
  • kidney disease
  • low blood counts like low platelets, red blood cells, or white blood cells
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to streptozocin, other chemotherapy, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This drug is given as an infusion or injection into a vein. It is administered in a hospital or clinic by a specially trained health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • medicines to increase blood counts like filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, sargramostim
  • other chemotherapy drugs
  • phenytoin
  • vaccines

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor for checks on your progress. This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.

In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.

Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.

Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.

Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.

This medicine may change blood sugar levels. Symptoms of low blood sugar include, anxiety, unusual hunger, dizziness or fainting, fast heartbeat, and confusion. Call your doctor or health care professional at once if you get any of these side effects. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.


Last Updated: October 19, 2011
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