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Zanosar is a chemotherapy treatment for a type of pancreatic cancer called islet cell cancer. This prescription medication is approved for use in people who are experiencing symptoms or those whose cancer that has spread to other areas of the body. It comes as an injection that is given either rapidly or more slowly for up to six hours. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What Is Zanosar?

Zanosar® (streptozocin) is a prescription chemotherapy medicine. It is approved to treat a certain type of cancer of the pancreas known as islet cell cancer. Zanosar is reserved for use in people who are still having symptoms or who have cancer that has spread to other areas of the body (metastasized) and is continuing to progress.
Zanosar belongs to a group of medicines known as alkylating agents. There are several different types of alkylating agents. Zanosar belongs to a subgroup of alkylating agents called nitrosoureas.
(Click Zanosar Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Zanosar is made by Teva Parenteral Medicines, Inc.

How Does Zanosar Work?

As mentioned, Zanosar belongs to a group of medications called alkylating agents. Like other alkylating agents, Zanosar transfers a piece of its structure, called an alkyl group, to DNA. This causes the strands of DNA to bond to each other and become linked (this is called "cross-linking").
The linked DNA strands cannot uncoil and separate, which is necessary for the DNA to replicate. Because DNA replication is essential for cells to grow and multiply, alkylating medications like Zanosar prevent cell growth and multiplication.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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