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Doxorubicin

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Adriamycin®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Adriamycin®
    • Mexican Brand Names: Adriblastina RD;Caelyx;Doxolem RU;Doxopeg;Doxotec;Doxtie
    • Pharmacologic Category: Antineoplastic Agent, Anthracycline

    Uses
    • It is used to treat some cancers.
    • It is used to treat leukemia.
    • It is used to treat lymphoma.
    • Doxorubicin harms cancer cells causing their death.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • This drug may be used alone or with other cancer drugs.
    • It is given as a shot into a vein.
    • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.

    Missed Dose

    • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

    Storage

    • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor's office. You will not store it at home.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • This drug may cause harm to your heart. Talk with your doctor. Patients with liver disease need a lower dose. This drug may have unsafe effects on the bone marrow. The bone marrow may not be able to make cells found in the blood as well as it used to.
    • This drug may irritate or harm the vein.
    • Unsafe side effects may happen. This drug cannot be taken while you are taking some other drugs. Check all the drugs you are taking with your doctor.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to doxorubicin or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have any of these health problems: Bone marrow disease, a fast heartbeat, very bad liver disease, or a very weak heart.
    • If you got the lifetime dose already. This may vary, talk with your doctor.
    • If you got full care with daunorubicin, doxorubicin, epirubicin, idarubicin, or mitoxantrone.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of a very bad infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
    • If you have gallbladder disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have a weak heart, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have had radiation, talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Have a heart function test. Talk with your doctor.
    • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
    • Talk with your doctor before using other aspirin, products that have aspirin, blood thinners, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, ibuprofen or like products, pain drugs, or vitamin E.
    • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
    • Use birth control that you can trust to stop pregnancy while taking this drug.
    • If you are a man and have sex, protect your partner from pregnancy. Use birth control that you can trust.

    Side Effects

    • Color of body fluids is red for 1 to 2 days after getting this drug.
    • Chance of getting an infection. Avoid people with infections, colds, or flu.
    • Flushing. Wearing layers of clothes or summer clothes and staying in cool places may help.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Mouth and lip irritation. Using a soft toothbrush or cotton swabs and rinsing the mouth may help.
    • Hair loss. Hair most often grows back when this drug is stopped.
    • Anemia, low white blood cell count, and low platelet count.
    • Feeling tired or weak.
    • Harm to the heart may rarely happen.
    • Other kinds of cancer may rarely happen later in life.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
    • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • A big weight loss.
    • Very bad swelling or pain of hands or feet.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Very bad skin irritation.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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