Can my adult daughter give herself chemo injections at home?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Can my adult daughter give herself chemo injections at home?

Expert Answer

Linda Ackerman, R.N. has clinical experience in oncology, women's health, and medical nursing. She has been practicing for more than 20 years and is a licensed registered nurse in both Florida and Wisconsin. In addition, she serves as a board member of Breast Cancer Recovery and the Wisconsin Cancer Council.

There are many different types of chemotherapy. The majority of chemotherapy medications cannot be given at home due to safety precautions and potential toxicity of the drugs.

However, home care nurses who have had training on how to administer chemotherapy, may be able to give some medications such as fluorouracil (5FU) via a pump at home.

In addition, there are also some medications which are used for enhancing white blood cells and red blood cells while on chemotherapy.

These medications can be self injected and given at home if your daughter and her physician agree.

Examples of such medications are neupogen and neulasta, which increase white blood cells and aranesp and epogen which increase red blood cells.

There are also a few oral chemotherapy medications which can be taken at home.

Overall, most chemotherapy medications needs to be administered under the supervision of a trained professional in a clinical setting.