Safe administration of oral chemotherapy

Clin J Oncol Nurs. Mar-Apr 2003;7(2):158-62. doi: 10.1188/03.CJON.158-162.


High standards of care are desirable for patients in any setting who receive chemotherapy by any route. Patients who self-administer oral chemotherapy are subject to risks of adverse effects similar to those who receive i.v. chemotherapy. Safeguards to prevent medication error in these patients may not be achieved to the same degree as for patients receiving i.v. drugs in an institutional setting. This article describes the differences between typical administration standards for i.v. chemotherapy versus oral chemotherapy. The process of oral chemotherapy provision is examined, with examples of drug characteristics and patient features important in each step. Recommendations are made for improving the care of patients receiving oral chemotherapy medications, particularly in the home setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Nurse's Role
  • Safety Management / methods*
  • Self Administration
  • United States


  • Antineoplastic Agents