Hazards Of Cytotoxic Drugs
Hygeia J. D. Med. Vol.1 (1) 2009, 35-43
(ISSN 0975 6221)
Type of Article
Kiron S.S1*, Saritha. M2
1. Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medical College, Pariyaram, Kannur, Kerala
2. Crescent College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Madayipara, Payangadi, Kannur, Kerala
Cytotoxic drugs include any drug that inhibits or prevents the function of cells. Cytotoxic drugs are increasingly being used in a variety of healthcare settings, laboratories and veterinary clinics for the treatment of cancer and other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and auto-immune disorders. Occupational exposure to hazardous drugs and the resulting potential health risk to healthcare workers first became a recognized safety concern in the 1970s. Published data related to the issue of occupational exposure prompted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue guidelines in 1986 for the handling of antineoplastic and other hazardous agents by healthcare personnel. Handling of cytotoxic drugs provides useful information for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, medical and nursing staff, veterinary practitioners and others involved in handling these drugs, including people who clean up any spills. The guidance contains simple information on the potential health hazards and health surveillance, legal framework and the duties of employers and employees. It also gives useful tips on ways of controlling and monitoringexposure and appropriate waste disposal. Appropriate training, utilization of effective equipment and supplies, and strict compliance with detailed policies and procedures provide the best approach to reducing the potential health risks of occupational exposure to hazardous drugs.
Key words: Cytotoxic drugs, Handling of antineoplastic agents, Occupational exposure
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