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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 208-215

Hand–foot syndrome induced by chemotherapy drug: Case series study and literature review

1 Department of Collection and Analysis of Adverse Drug Events, National Center Chalbi Belkahia of Pharmacovigilance; Research Unit UR17ES12, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia
2 Research Unit UR17ES12, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ahmed Zaiem
National Center of Pharmacovigilance, 9 Avenue du Dr Zouhaier Essafi 1006, Tunis
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijp.ijp_175_21

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INTRODUCTION: Chemotherapy drugs can be responsible of several side effects such as hand–foot syndrome (HFS). This syndrome is also called “palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia” and “acral erythema.” Without proper management, it can deteriorate the quality of life of a patient, leading to temporary or definitive stop of chemotherapy. AIM OF THIS STUDY: To identify the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients, the risk factors for occurrence and worsening of this syndrome, and the drugs most likely to be responsible of HFS. METHODS: Our study was retrospective, including 42 patients with HFS secondary to a chemotherapy drug. These cases were notified to the National Center of Pharmacovigilance over 7 years. The severity of HFS has been classified according to the NCI-CTCAE v4.0 classification. RESULTS: Our population was composed of 40 women and 2 men. The mean age was 51 years. Docetaxel was the main drug associated with this adverse effect. Hands were involved in all cases and were sometimes associated with other skin surfaces apart from feet. Erythema of the hands and/or feet was present in all patients; it was associated with edema in more than half of the cases. The distribution of different grades according to the NCI-CTCAE classification among the patients was almost equal: 28% Grade 1, 36% Grade 2, and 36% Grade 3. HFS occurred mainly after the first course of chemotherapy with a mean period of 3–4 days. The regression of HFS occurred more rapidly for Grade 1 and Grade 2 compared with Grade 3, especially when assisted by symptomatic treatment. The recurrence rate of HFS for those patients with decreased doses, spacing of cures, and/or symptomatic and prophylaxis treatment was 25%. CONCLUSION: An early detection of HFS, associated with preventive measures, enables patients to continue the chemotherapy.


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