BT PO 1.125 Outline the pharmacology of cancer chemotherapeutic agents

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Methotrexate is used in the medical treatment of ectopic pregnancy T/F

Vincristine may be administered both intravenously and intrathecally T/F

Vincristine is more likely to cause constipation than diarrhoea T/F

Anthracycline antibiotic agents like daunorubicin cause reversible cardiotoxicity T/F

Patients on chemotherapy who are febrile are almost always neutropaenic T/F

BT_PO 1.125¬†Pharmacology of cancer chemotherapeutic agents, especially problems that such agents may cause during the perioperative period

I was asked about this in my Primary Exam! I have to admit that I had elected not to study the chemotherapeutics, (not a strategy that I would recommend ūüėČ) but fortunately I was able to drag something from the back of my brain….

There is one chemotherapeutic drug in particular which has very significant anaesthetic implications ( I was unaware of this 20 yrs ago!) and you should have some knowledge of it.

Several others can have effects on organ systems which may be of consequence once anaesthesia is administered.

There is an  overview of the topic, with an anaesthetic bent, here, but all the standard texts will have chapter on chemotherapeutic agents.


Several chemotherapeutic drugs, including vincristine, are derived from the above plant, the Madagascar Periwinkle…..

BT_PO 1.125 Outline the pharmacology of cancer chemotherapeutic agents with particular reference to problems that such agents may cause during the perioperative period

The risk of oxygen induced pulmonary toxicity, following bleomycin treatment, persists for life  TRUE/FALSE

Anthracyclines, such as doxurubicin and daunorubicin, may cause an acute myocarditis TRUE/FALSE

Anthracyclines may cause a chronic dilated cardiomyopathy, which is dose dependent in nature TRUE/FALSE

Vincristine can cause both a peripheral and autonomic neuropathy TRUE/FASLE

The bone marrow suppression associated with chemotherapy usually preserves platelets TRUE/FALSE