Precautions after receiving Chemotherapy
Handling of Bodily Fluids/Waste: The First 48 hours
Chemotherapy is a powerful tool against cancer, but it can be harmful to healthy tissue. Special precautions are necessary to limit harmful exposure to you and those helping to care for you.
How can I protect myself and those I live with while I’m getting chemo?
There are many things you can do during and after IV chemotherapy to keep yourself and your loved ones from being affected by the drugs while your body is getting rid of them. It takes about 48 hours for your body to excrete most chemo drugs.
Most of the waste comes out in your bodily fluids – urine, stool, tears, saliva, blood, sweat, and vomit.
There are many different oral chemotherapeutic agents currently in use with various dosing frequencies and treatment durations. Ask your nurse to check with the Oncology Pharmacist to determine the amount of chemo excreted for a particular oral chemotherapeutic agent.
If any of your caregivers are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about precautions they need to take before you receive chemotherapy.
For the first 48 hours after receiving chemotherapy:
If vomiting into the toilet, clean off all splashes and flush twice. If vomiting into a basin, it should be carefully emptied into the toilet without splashing the contents and flushed twice. The basin should be washed with hot, soapy water and rinsed. Empty the water into the toilet, and then flush it. Dry the basin with paper towels and throw them away.
If using disposable adult briefs, underwear, or sanitary pads, seal them in two plastic bags and throw them away with your regular trash.
American Cancer Society - Chemo Safety OncoLink (University of Pennsylvania) - Home Safety for Patients Receiving Chemotherapy