The increasing use of oral chemotherapy has shifted the care for some cancers away from clinics and doctor offices and into patient’s homes. Unfortunately, obtaining and taking oral chemotherapy prescriptions can be complex. This information is intended to clarify the process of obtaining and taking oral chemotherapy for patients and caregivers.

Obtaining oral chemotherapy

  • Not all pharmacies are able to dispense all types of oral chemotherapy.  If there are questions about where to obtain medications please stop by or call the Kellogg Outpatient Oncology Pharmacy or call your insurance company.  Kellogg Outpatient Pharmacies are now open at all three Kellogg Cancer Centers:
    - Evanston 847.570.1130
    - Glenbrook 847.503.1206
    - Highland Park 847.926.3560
  • The process to prepare these prescriptions can be time intensive and may require a few days to complete.
  • Cost of oral chemotherapy can be considerable.  If there are any financial concerns about obtaining medications, please request a referral to a Financial Advocate here at the Kellogg Cancer Center.

 Taking oral chemotherapy

  • Follow instructions exactly as described by your doctor.
  • Do not take medications unless the instructions are clear.
  • Never intentionally skip doses, break pills, or deviate from the instructions provided.  If a dose is missed, contact your doctor or pharmacist for further instructions.

Ensuring optimal follow up care and monitoring

  • Like injectable chemotherapy, oral chemotherapy can produce serious side effects and should be reported to your doctor immediately.
  • Frequent doctor appointments and laboratory visits may be required to monitor your progress and safety on oral chemotherapy.
  • Understand when and how to contact you doctor, nurse, and/or pharmacist.
  • Ask questions.  Patients are their own best advocates for the safe and effective use of oral chemotherapies.  
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