FOLFOX combination chemotherapy regimen

What FOLFOX is effective for and why

The FOLFOX chemotherapy regimen was designed and is used almost strictly in patients with advanced, metastatic colorectal cancer.

The combination chemotherapy regimen known as FOLFOX consists of the following drugs:

  • FOLolinic acid (leucovorin)
  • Fluorouracil (5-FU)
  • OXaliplatin (Eloxatin)

FOLFOX is subdivided into FOLFOX 4 and FOLFOX 6:

A Typical FOLFOX 4 Regimen (regimens should be tailored to the individual)

  • Cycle length: 14 days
  • Number of cycles: varies
  • Day 1: Oxaliplatin (IV)
  • Days 1 & 2: Leucovorin (IV), fluorouracil 400 mg2 (IV push) and fluorouracil 600 mg2 (IV)

A Typical FOLFOX 6 Regimen (regimens should be tailored to the individual)

  • Cycle length: 14 days
  • Day 1: Oxaliplatin (IV), Leucovorin (IV), fluorouracil 400 mg2 (IV push), and fluorouracil 2400 mg2 (cont. infusion over 46 hours).

Vomit potential?

Day 1 & 2: Moderately high

Side effects of FOLFOX

Because nausea and/or vomiting are so likely in the FOLFOX regimen, aggressive and proactive management of these symptoms with antiemetic medications is extremely important to mitigate these effects, Another very frequent problem with the FOLFOX regimen is diarrhea which, like the nausea, requires active management by one's oncology team.


  • Boyiadzis, Michael M. et al. Hematology-Oncology Therapy. 2007. New York: McGraw Hill, Medical Publishing Division.
  • Wikidoc: FOLFOX

Significant studies and papers relevant to FOLLFOX


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