Oral chemotherapy

by happyRN21 happyRN21 (New) New

HI, I would like to know about what the protocols in other hospitals say about non-chemo certified RNs giving oral chemotherapy to patients with non-malignant conditions. For example, I have seen Hydroxyurea PO given for sickle cell anemia and Methotrexate PO for rheumatoid arthritis. Is this permitted or are only chemo certified nurses allowed to give these chemo drugs to these patients with other diseases? Since these chemo drugs are not being used to treat cancer, would an oncologist still have to write orders or can any physician order these chemo drugs? Also, do these patients with other conditions (sickle cell anemia or arthritis) have to be placed on chemo precautions like other patients being treated for cancer.

I don't know about in a hospital, but as a LPN in long-term care, I give oral chemo meds to my patient. I make sure I know the reasons for it, and follow safety procedures recommended.

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. 2,418 Posts

The only meds that had to be handled by chemo-certified nurses were the IV ones at my first job. Oral chemo was fine, for whatever reason it was prescribed.



Specializes in Oncology. Has 2 years experience. 125 Posts

I really depends on your hospital's protocols. Any doctor can prescribe oral chemo for non-cancer conditions. We don't place our sickle cell patients on chemo precautions, but we do require a second nurse to witness giving hydrea because they do have cytotoxic effects. Although, one hospital in the past didn't require a witness, it just depends. We still use nitrile give when administering the medication. Depending on the condition I've had renal doctors in the past prescribe cytoxan for certain kidney diseases. The medical nurses freak out when we insist anyone can hang it, so we usually end up hanging it anyway.