Cisplatin and Teysuno
This page tells you about the chemotherapy drug combination cisplatin and Teysuno. Teysuno is also called S1. There are sections about
Teysuno is made up of tegafur, gimeracil and oteracil. Tegafur is changed into a drug called fluorouracil in the body. It is one of a group of chemotherapy drugs known as the anti metabolites. These drugs stop cells making and repairing DNA. Cancer cells need to make and repair DNA in order to grow and multiply.
You can read our information about Teysuno.
Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug that has an atom of the metal platinum.
We have detailed information about cisplatin.
You have cisplatin through a drip into a vein (intravenously). This may be through a small tube usually put into your arm or hand, called a cannula. Or you may have it through a central line, a portacath or PICC line. These are long, plastic tubes that go into a large vein in your chest. The tube stays in place as long as you need it.
Teysuno is a capsule. You take the capsules twice a day, morning and evening. Swallow them whole with plenty of water. You should take the capsules either an hour before eating or an hour after eating.
It is very important that you take the capsules according to the instructions your doctor or pharmacist gives you. For example, whether you have a full or empty stomach can affect how much of a drug gets into your bloodstream. So check the pack leaflet and follow the instructions it gives. You should take the right dose, not more or less. And never stop taking a cancer drug without talking to your specialist first.
You start by having this type of chemotherapy as a course of several cycles of treatment. Each cycle of treatment lasts 4 weeks (28 days). Depending on your needs, you may have up to 6 cycles of both cisplatin and Teysuno. Then you usually continue taking Teysuno for as long as it works.
You have each cycle of treatment in the following way. On the first day you have cisplatin as a drip that lasts for about 2 hours. You have other fluids as a drip before and afterwards to help keep you hydrated. In total these last for about 6 hours.
You also start taking Teysuno on the first day of the treatment cycle. You take it twice a day for 3 weeks. Then you have no treatment for a week. Your next cycle of treatment then starts.
After the 6 cycles of both drugs you usually continue taking the Teysuno capsules twice a day for 3 weeks, followed by a 1 week break.
The side effects of cisplatin and Teysuno are listed below. You can use the links to find out more about each side effect.
For general information, see our cancer drug side effects section.
More than 10 in every 100 people have one or more of these side effects
- An increased risk of getting an infection from a drop in white blood cells – it is harder to fight infections and you can become very ill. You may have headaches, aching muscles, a cough, a sore throat, pain passing urine, or you may feel cold and shivery. If you have a severe infection this can be life threatening. Contact your treatment centre straight away if you have any of these effects or if your temperature goes above 38°C. You will have blood tests to check your blood cell levels
- Tiredness and breathlessness from a drop in red blood cells (anaemia) – you may need a blood transfusion
- Bruising more easily from a drop in platelets – you may have nosebleeds, bleeding gums after brushing your teeth, or lots of tiny red spots or bruises on your arms or legs (known as petechia)
- Feeling or being sick happens in about 6 out of every 10 people (60%). This is usually well controlled with anti sickness medicines
- Tiredness and weakness affects about 4 in 10 people (40%) during and after treatment
- Diarrhoea occurs in about 3 out of 10 people (30%) – drink plenty and tell your doctor or nurse if you are worried about how bad it is, or if it continues for more than 3 days
- Loss of appetite affects about 3 out of 10 people (30%)
- Tummy (abdominal) pain occurs in more than 2 out of 10 people (25%)
- Weight loss
- Constipation – your nurse may give you medicines to help prevent this. Tell your nurse or doctor if you are constipated for more than 3 days
- Numbness or tingling in fingers and toes that can cause difficulty with fiddly things such as doing up buttons. This starts within a few days or weeks. It usually goes within a few months of finishing treatment
Between 1 and 10 in every 100 people have one or more of these side effects
- Gritty eyes, blurred vision or watery eyes
- Hearing problems
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle pain
- Darkening of your skin
- A sore mouth
- Soreness, redness and peeling on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet (palmar–plantar syndrome), which may cause tingling, numbness, pain and dryness
- Skin and nail changes – you may have a rash on your face, neck and chest or your skin may be dry and itchy
- Kidney changes that are mild and unlikely to cause symptoms. The kidneys will almost certainly go back to normal when treatment is finished. You will have regular blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working
- Blood pressure changes – your blood pressure may be higher or lower than normal
- Swelling of your legs due to fluid build up (known as peripheral oedema)
- Loss of taste and changes in taste
- Changes in lung tissue may cause a cough or breathlessness
- Hair thinning
Fewer than 1 in 100 people have these side effects
- Mood changes – you may feel sad and depressed
- Liver changes that are very mild and unlikely to cause symptoms. They will almost certainly go back to normal when treatment is finished. You will have regular blood tests to check how well your liver is working
- Chest pain due to damage to heart muscle. This is usually temporary but for a small number of people may be permanent.
- Blood clots – let your nurse or doctor know if you have a sore, painful, red area on your leg or sudden chest pain and breathlessness
- A stroke or mini stroke – let your nurse or doctor know straight away if you have facial weakness, arm weakness, or speech problems
- A split in the wall of the bowel (bowel perforation) is very rare but is a serious side effect if it happens. Let your nurse or doctor know straight away if you have sudden, severe tummy pain
- Loss of interest in sex
- Breast tenderness
- Difficulty getting an erection
You will not get all these side effects and they may be mild. A side effect may get worse through your course of treatment. Or you may have more side effects as the course goes on. This depends on
- How many times you've had a drug before
- Your general health
- How much of the drug you have (the dose)
- Other drugs you are having
Coping with side effects
Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse about all your side effects so that they can help you manage them. They can give you advice or reassure you. Your nurse will give you a contact number to ring if you have any questions or problems. If in doubt, call them.
Tell your doctor about any other medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies. Some drugs can react together.
Pregnancy and contraception
These drugs may harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important not to become pregnant or father a child while you are having treatment and for a few months afterwards. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment.
Breastfeeding is not advisable during this treatment because the drugs may come through in the breast milk.
You should not have immunisations with live vaccines while you are having treatment or for at least 6 months afterwards. In the UK, these include rubella, mumps, measles (usually given together as MMR), BCG, yellow fever and Zostavax (shingles vaccine).
You can have other vaccines, but they may not give you as much protection as usual until your immune system has fully recovered from your treatment. It is safe to have the flu vaccine.
It is safe for you to be in contact with other people who've had live vaccines as injections. There can be problems with vaccines you take by mouth (oral vaccines), but not many people in the UK have these now. So there is usually no problem in being with any baby or child who has recently had any vaccination in the UK. You might need to make sure that you aren't in contact with anyone who has had oral polio, cholera or typhoid vaccination recently, particularly if you live abroad.
We don’t list all the very rare side effects of this treatment that are very unlikely to affect you. For further information about these drugs look at the Electronic Medicines Compendium website at www.medicines.org.uk/emc.
If you have a side effect we don’t mention here and you think it may be due to this treatment, you can report it to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) at www.mhra.gov.uk
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team