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Adriamycin

 
  Generic Name: Doxorubicin (DOX oh ROO bi sin)
 
  Brand Names: Adriamycin  
     
   
 

What is Adriamycin (doxorubicin)?

Doxorubicin is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. Doxorubicin interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Doxorubicin is used to treat many types of cancer.

Doxorubicin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Adriamycin (doxorubicin)?

Doxorubicin should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Serious side effects have been reported with the use of doxorubicin including: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); severe heart damage with prolonged use; decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; fever or chills; or signs of infection); severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite; and others. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with doxorubicin.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Adriamycin (doxorubicin)?

Do not use doxorubicin without first talking to your doctor if you have

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • heart disease;

  • poor bone marrow function;

  • received radiation therapy that encompassed the heart; or

  • previously received treatment with doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Rubex), doxorubicin liposomal (Doxil), daunorubicin (Cerubidine), daunorubicin liposomal (Daunoxome), idarubicin (Idamycin), or mitoxantrone (Novantrone).

The use of doxorubicin may be dangerous if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Doxorubicin is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that doxorubicin is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use doxorubicin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Discuss with your doctor the appropriate use of birth control during treatment with doxorubicin if necessary. Because of the potential for serious side effects in a nursing infant, breast-feeding should be avoided during treatment with doxorubicin. Children have an increased risk of heart problems due to treatment with doxorubicin. Growth and gonadal development may also be affected.

How should I use Adriamycin (doxorubicin)?

Doxorubicin should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with doxorubicin depending upon the type of cancer being treated and other factors. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.

Your doctor will probably want you to have regularly scheduled blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with doxorubicin to monitor progress and side effects.

Skin accidentally exposed to doxorubicin should be rinsed thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Caregivers of pediatric patients receiving doxorubicin should avoid contact with the patient's urine and other bodily fluids for at least 5 days after each treatment. Latex gloves and other protective measures may be recommended.

Your healthcare provider will store doxorubicin as directed by the manufacturer. If you are storing doxorubicin at home, follow the directions provided by your healthcare provider.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of doxorubicin.

What happens if I overdose?

If for any reason an overdose of doxorubicin is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Symptoms of a doxorubicin overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe.

What should I avoid while using Adriamycin (doxorubicin)?

Skin accidentally exposed to doxorubicin should be rinsed thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Caregivers of pediatric patients receiving doxorubicin should avoid contact with the patient's urine and other bodily fluids for at least 5 days after each treatment. Latex gloves and other protective measures may be recommended.

Doxorubicin can lower the activity of your immune system making you susceptible to infections. Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses and do not receive vaccines that contain live strains of a virus (e.g., live oral polio vaccine) during treatment with doxorubicin. In addition, avoid contact with individuals who have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus can be passed on to you.

Adriamycin (doxorubicin) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects from doxorubicin, contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; or fever, chills, or signs of infection);

  • congestive heart failure (difficulty breathing, fluid retention, chest pain);

  • irregular heartbeats;

  • tissue or vein reactions near the site of administration;

  • liver damage (abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite;

  • inflamation and sores inside the mouth, throat, or intestines;

  • fever, chills, or other signs of infection;

  • numbness, tingling, or difficult movement of a body part;

  • seizures; or

  • increased levels of uric acid in the body (joint pain and stiffness).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue taking doxorubicin and talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • facial flushing during administration;

  • eye irritation or tearing;

  • darkening of the nail beds and skin folds;

  • temporary hair loss; or

  • red colored urine for 1 or 2 days following a dose.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Adriamycin (doxorubicin)?

Do not use doxorubicin without first talking to your doctor if you have had previous treatment with doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Rubex), doxorubicin liposomal (Doxil), daunorubicin (Cerubidine), daunorubicin liposomal (Daunoxome), idarubicin (Idamycin), or mitoxantrone (Novantrone). Because there is a maximum amount of these medications that should be administered to an individual, you may not be able to use doxorubicin.

Before using doxorubicin, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines.

  • paclitaxel (Taxol);

  • progesterone (Prometrium);

  • verapamil (Calan, Calan SR, Covera-HS, Isoptin, Isoptin SR, Verelan, Verelan PM, others)

  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);

  • cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Cytoxan Lyophilized, Neosar);

  • phenobarbital;

  • phenytoin (Dilantin); or

  • streptozocin (Zanosar).

You may not be able to take doxorubicin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Do not receive "live" vaccines during treatment with doxorubicin. Administration of a live vaccine may be dangerous during treatment with doxorubicin.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with doxorubicin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, during treatment with doxorubicin.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about doxorubicin.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.02. Revision Date: 4/12/2009 4:36:30 PM.;
 
 
 
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