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Taking oral chemotherapy at home

Your cancer treatment may include taking oral chemotherapy (chemo) at home. These are drugs you swallow to treat cancer. They may be tablets or capsules.

To make your treatment work as well as it possibly can, it’s important to follow the instructions you are given by the pharmacist.

Make sure you understand:

  • how much your dose is 
  • when you should take each dose
  • if you take more than one drug, the order you should take them in
  • what to do if you miss a dose

It’s also important for you to store and handle your drugs safely.

  • Keep them out of reach of children and away from light, heat and moisture.
  • Swallow tablets or capsules whole. Don’t cut, chew or crush them.
  • Wash your hands immediately after handling.
  • Return any drugs that don’t get used to your pharmacy so they can be destroyed safely.

You might be worried about side effects when taking oral chemotherapy at home. Talk to your pharmacist or someone else on your healthcare team about what to expect. It can also be helpful to take notes about how you feel after you take your drugs.


Morgan Smith Even though we are high school students, we were able to raise so much money for the Canadian Cancer Society. It just goes to show what can happen when a small group of people come together for a great cause.

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Cancer affects all Canadians

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Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

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