This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Adriamycin PFS; Doxorubicin Hydrochloride For Injection, USP; Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Injection
- This drug may cause severe heart problems like heart failure. This can happen during treatment or years after the last dose. Sometimes, these problems will not go away or may be deadly. The chance may be higher if your child has had heart problems or chest area radiation, or is using other drugs that may cause heart problems. The chance may also be higher if your child has ever had this drug or a drug like this one. Ask the doctor if you are not sure if any of your child’s drugs may cause heart problems. The chance of heart problems depends on the dose of this drug and your child’s health problem. The chance of heart problems later in life is also higher. Heart problems may happen even without any risk factors. Call the doctor right away if your child has a cough, fast or slow heartbeat, abnormal heartbeat, swelling in the arms or legs, shortness of breath, sudden weight gain, or feels very tired or weak.
- Your child will need to get heart function tests while taking this drug. Talk with the doctor.
- This drug may lower the ability of the bone marrow to make blood cells that the body needs. This can lead to needing a blood transfusion and very bad and sometimes deadly bleeding problems or infections. Tell the doctor right away if your child has signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; any bruising or bleeding; or if your child feels very tired or weak.
- The risk of a very bad bone marrow problem and second cancer (type of leukemia) may be raised after treatment with this drug. Talk with the doctor.
- This drug may cause tissue damage if the drug leaks from the vein. Tell your child’s nurse if your child has any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your child’s body.
- It is used to treat cancer.
- If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
- If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If your child has any of these health problems: Anemia, heart problems, liver disease, a low platelet count, or a low white blood cell count.
- If your child has had a recent heart attack.
- If your child has had daunorubicin, doxorubicin, epirubicin, idarubicin, or mitoxantrone before, talk with your child’s doctor.
- If your child is taking any of these drugs: Phenobarbital, phenytoin, St. John’s wort, trastuzumab, or verapamil.
If your child is breast-feeding a baby:
- Talk with the doctor if your child is breast-feeding a baby or plans to breast-feed a baby.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.
- Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Have your child wash hands often. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
- Your child may bleed more easily. Make sure your child is careful and avoids injury. Be sure your child has a soft toothbrush.
- If your child has an upset stomach or diarrhea, is throwing up, or is not hungry, talk with the doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
- Use care to keep body fluids from coming in contact with family members or caregivers. Wash soiled clothing right away and use gloves when touching body fluids for at least 5 days after each treatment.
- Talk with the doctor before your child gets any vaccines. Use of some vaccines with this drug may either raise the chance of very bad infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- If your child has had or will be having radiation treatment, talk with the doctor. Worse side effects from radiation treatment have happened with this drug.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- This drug may affect sperm in males. This may affect being able to father a child later in life. Talk with the doctor.
- This drug may cause fertility problems. This may affect being able to have children later in life. Talk with the doctor.
- Periods may stop in females treated with this drug. This may not go back to normal. Females treated with this drug may go through menopause at a younger age than normal. Talk with your child’s doctor.
If your child is or may be sexually active:
- Have your child use birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug and for 6 months after stopping this drug.
- If your child is a male and has sex with a female who could get pregnant, they must prevent pregnancy during treatement and for 6 months after his last dose.
- If your child is a male and his sex partner gets pregnant while he takes this drug or within 6 months after his last dose, call the doctor right away.
If your child is pregnant:
- This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy.
- If your child gets pregnant while taking this drug or within 6 months after her last dose, call the doctor right away.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- If side effects like upset stomach or throwing up, diarrhea, or mouth sores keep your child from eating or drinking like normal, call your child’s doctor right away.
- Patients with cancer who take this drug may be at greater risk of getting a severe health problem called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). This may lead to death. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has a fast or abnormal heartbeat; any passing out; trouble passing urine; muscle weakness or cramps; upset stomach, throwing up, diarrhea, or not able to eat; or feels sluggish.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Hair loss.
- Change in nails.
- Color of urine is orange or red for 1 to 2 days after getting this drug.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
- Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.
- If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
- If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
- Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
- Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
- Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
© 2019 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.