Instruct patient to take medication every 12 hr with water within 30 min after a meal. Missed doses should be omitted; continue regular schedule. Do not double dose.
Inform patient of the most common side effects. Instruct patient to notify health care provider immediately if any of the following occur: diarrhea (>4 bowel movements in a day or any diarrhea at night), vomiting (more than once in 24 hr), nausea (loss of appetite and significant decrease in daily food intake), stomatitis (pain, redness, swelling, or sore in mouth), hand-and-foot syndrome (pain, swelling, or redness of hands and/or feet), fever or infection (temperature of ≥100.5° F or other signs of infection).
Instruct patient to notify health care professional if he or she is taking folic acid.
Instruct patient to notify health care professional if fever; chills; sore throat; signs of infection; yellowing of skin or eyes; abdominal pain; joint or flank pain; swelling of feet or legs; bleeding gums; bruising; petechiae; or blood in urine, stool, or emesis occurs. Caution patient to avoid crowds and persons with known infections. Instruct patient to use soft toothbrush and electric razor. Patients should be cautioned not to drink alcoholic beverages or take products containing aspirin or NSAIDs.
» Advise patient to rinse mouth with clear water after eating and drinking and to avoid flossing to minimize stomatitis. Viscous lidocaine may be used if mouth pain interferes with eating. Stomatitis pain may require treatment with opioid analgesics.
» Review with patient the need for contraception during therapy.
» Emphasize the importance of routine follow-up lab tests to monitor progress and to check for side effects.