Doxorubicin interferes with how cancer cells multiply. It is used
specifically to treat cancer.
Doxorubicin is an intravenous (IV) medicine. The exact dose that
you receive and how often you are treated depend on your body size, the type of
cancer you have, and how much of your body is affected by the cancer.
Doxorubicin slows or stops the growth and spread of cancer cells in
the body. It is used to treat many types of cancer, such as breast cancer,
stomach cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, bone cancer, and ovarian
Doxorubicin is an effective cancer treatment. But the type of
cancer you have and how widespread the cancer is affect how well this medicine
slows or stops the growth of cancer.
Side effects are common with doxorubicin and can include:
Long-term use can cause weakening of the heart muscle. Symptoms may
occur months or years after treatment. Tell your health professional if you
have shortness of breath, chest pain, or swelling in the feet or ankles.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
Doxorubicin should be given only under the supervision of a
Long-term use can cause weakening of the heart muscle. If you have
been treated for cancer with this medicine in the past and are now seeing a new
oncologist, be sure to tell your new doctor about your past treatment.
You may not be able to become pregnant after taking this medicine.
Discuss fertility with your doctor before starting treatment.
Doxorubicin can cause birth defects. Do not use this medicine if
you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or wish to father a child while you
are taking it.
Doxorubicin can damage the tissue around a vein if it leaks into
the tissue while it is being given. Tell your health professional immediately
if you notice any stinging or burning around the vein when you are getting this
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
June 28, 2011
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology
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