Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Menu

Safe Handling of Oral Cytotoxic and Caution Medications

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Oral cytotoxic or “caution” medications Adult, Cancer-related, Children

Safe Handling of Oral Cytotoxic and Caution Medications - Dosage and How to Use

How should Safe Handling of Oral Cytotoxic and Caution Medications be used?

The tablets/capsules should be swallowed with some water and not chewed.

The dose prescribed may not always be one tablet or one capsule:

For 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)

For 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)

  • Do not crush the tablet or the capsule, as this may cause small particles to be released into the air. Breathing in or coming into contact with these particles can cause harmful effects to the body cells.
  • If the child is unable to swallow the required tablet/capsule OR specific doses are required, please refer to the table below for guides on administration.

​For tablets:

  • You will need:
    • An oral syringe
    • A plastic measuring cup
    • A pair of disposable gloves
    • Mask
    • Tablet cutter if necessary
  • Put on your gloves
  • Put 10 ml of water into the measuring cup
  • Place required tablet(s) into the measuring cup and allow it to soften and disperse. This may take a few minutes.
  • Syringe out the required volume to give your child

​For capsules:

If you need to open a capsule, you need to take extra care not to inhale the powder.

  • You will need:
    • An oral syringe
    • A plastic measuring cup
    • A pair of disposable gloves
    • Mask
  • Put on your gloves and mask
  • Put 10 ml water into the measuring cup
  • Gently twist and pull the capsule open, emptying the contents of required capsule(s) into the water
  • Syringe out required volume to give your child
  • Wrap the empty plastic capsule case in paper and throw it away with the mask and gloves.
It is best to dispose the plastic medicine cup and syringe after each use. However, if you wish to re-use these items, always wash them separately from other household dishes. You may reuse the syringe and plastic cup to handle the same oral cytotoxic/caution medication, but do not use them for any other purposes.​ ​

What should I do if I miss a dose?

What should I do if I overdose?

Safe Handling of Oral Cytotoxic and Caution Medications - Additional Information

  • Updated on Friday, October 6, 2017
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department KK Women's and Children's Hospital

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

    Find Your Medicines