Mathews Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology


Previous Issues Volume 4, Issue 1 - 2019

Case Series of Irinotecan-Induced-Dysarthria: A Review of Literature and Proposition of a Pre-Medication Regimen

Ahmed Khattab1, Seon Jo Park2, Sunita Patruni1, Nour Daboul2 and Dulabh K Monga2

1Department of Internal Medicine, Allegheny Health Network, USA

2Division of Hematology & Oncology, Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute, USA

Corresponding author: Ahmed Khattab*, Internal Medicine Residency, AHN Cancer Institute, 320 E North Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. 15212.

Received Date: Jun 18, 2019
Published Date: Jul 23, 2019
Copyright: Khattab A. © 2019. 
Citation: Khattab A. (2019). Case Series of Irinotecan-Induced-Dysarthria: A Review of Literature and Proposition of a Pre-Medication Regimen. Mathews J Gastroenterol Hepatol 4(1): 13.



Irinotecan is a topoisomerase-I inhibitor that is commonly used in combination with other chemotherapy agents for gastrointestinal malignancies. It has been found to induce transient dysarthria during infusion which has prompted premature cessation. We encountered 3 patients on FOLFIRINOX who experienced dysarthria-like symptoms during irinotecan infusion. Through a literature review and prospective observational study done at our tertiary care facility, we devised a pre-medication regimen which included extending the irinotecan infusion to 3 hours, replacement of all electrolytes to the upper limits of normal and the addition of atropine during infusion. These steps were to be taken in addition to the standard pre-medications to prevent known side effects of nausea, diarrhea and cholinergic syndrome. During subsequent irinotecan infusion sessions for our 3 patients, we exposed them to our proposed pre-medication regimen which resulted in toleration of therapy and dysarthria-free or significant attenuation of symptoms. The purpose of this case series is to promote further awareness of this unusual reaction as well as to propose a standard pre-medication regimen with all subsequent irinotecan administrations in the event a patient develops dysarthria on initial therapy.


Keywords: Irinotecan-induced-dysarthria, Adverse effect, FOLFIRINOX, Irinotecan, Dysarthria, Pre-medication regimen


Abbreviations: CSF: Cerebrospinal Sluid; ADR: Adverse Drug Reaction


Creative Commons License

© 2015 Mathews Open Access Journals. All Rights Reserved.

Open Access by Mathews Open Access Journals is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based On a Work at