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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Adriamycin

Generic Name: doxorubicin (Pronunciation: DOX oh ROO bi sin)

What is doxorubicin (Adriamycin)?

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 are the possible side effects of doxorubicin (Adriamycin)?

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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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

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.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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