Brand Name(s):

  • Zanosar®


Streptozocin can cause a decrease in the number of blood cells in your bone marrow. Streptozocin also can cause kidney and liver damage. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to streptozocin.

You should know that streptozocin has been associated with the development of other types of cancers. Talk with your doctor about the potential risk of developing a new cancer.

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Your doctor has ordered the drug streptozocin to help treat your illness. The drug is given by injection into a vein.

This medication is used to treat:

  • pancreatic islet cell cancer

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Streptozocin is a type of antibiotic that is only used for chemotherapy; it slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.

Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

Streptozocin also is used to treat carcinoid tumor, carcinoid syndrome, Hodgkin's disease, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, colorectal cancer, hepatoma, pheochromocytoma, epidermoid carcinoma of the lung, lymphocytic lymphoma, Burkitt's lymphoma, acute lymphocytic leukemia, malignant melanoma, and metastatic sarcoma. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before taking streptozocin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to streptozocin or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other cancer chemotherapeutic drugs, phenytoin (Dilantin), and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
  • you should know that streptozocin may interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop sperm production in men. However, you should not assume that you cannot get pregnant or that you cannot get someone else pregnant. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should tell their doctors before they begin taking this drug. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments. (Talk to your doctor for further details.) Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Streptozocin may harm the fetus.
  • do not have any vaccinations (e.g., measles or flu shots) without talking to your doctor.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

Side effects from streptozocin are common and include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting

Tell your doctor if the following symptom is severe or lasts for several hours:

  • fatigue

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • fever
  • chills
  • sore throat
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • persistent diarrhea or any change in normal bowel habits for more than 2 days
  • confusion
  • pain at the injection site
  • decreased urination

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

  • Streptozocin can change the amount of minerals and sugar in your blood. Your doctor will order tests to monitor the amount of minerals and sugar in your blood.

AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.