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doxorubicin (cont.)

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

Before you are treated with doxorubicin, tell your doctor about all other cancer medications and treatments you have received, including radiation.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to doxorubicin or similar medications (Cerubidine, Ellence, Idamycin, Novantrone), or if you have:

  • an untreated or uncontrolled infection (including mouth sores);
  • severe liver disease;
  • severe heart problems; or
  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

To make sure you can safely receive doxorubicin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver or kidney disease;
  • a weak immune system caused by prior cancer treatments;
  • heart disease, a heart rhythm disorder, congestive heart failure; or
  • if you have ever had a heart attack.

Using doxorubicin may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use doxorubicin if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving doxorubicin.

Doxorubicin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using doxorubicin.

How should I take doxorubicin (Adriamycin)?

Doxorubicin is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.

Doxorubicin is sometimes given together with other cancer medications. You may be given other medications to prevent nausea, vomiting, or infections.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when doxorubicin is injected.

If any of this medication accidentally gets on your skin, wash it thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Doxorubicin can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

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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