COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Adriamycin, Rubex



Description: Doxorubicin is an antibiotic. It binds to DNA and inhibits of nucleic acid synthesis. Doxorubicin has been shown to produce regression in a variety of disseminated malignancies.

Doxorubicin is chemotherapeutic drug that is used alone or with other treatments/medications to treat several different types of cancer. Doxorubicin works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How to use doxorubicin intravenous

This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional.

If this medication touches your skin, immediately and completely wash the skin with soap and water. If this medication gets in your eye, open the eyelids and flush with plenty of water for 15 minutes. Seek immediate medical attention.

Caregivers should take precautions (e.g., wear gloves) to prevent contact with the patient’s urine or other body fluid for at least 5 days after treatment. Consult your pharmacist.

Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, drink plenty of cool fluids during treatment with this medication. This helps move the drug quickly through your body and helps reduce some of the side effects.

This medication must be given slowly into a vein only. If this medication accidentally leaks into surrounding tissue, the skin/muscle may be severely damaged. Notify your doctor immediately if redness, blistering, sores, pain, or swelling occur at or near the injection site.

This drug may cause heart problems, including possibly fatal heart failure which may occur during doxorubicin therapy or months to years after receiving this medication. Children are prone to this.

Rarely, people receiving this drug may develop secondary cancer- leukemia. Older patients are prone to this.

Also, this drug may predispose patients to infection.

Side effects may range from mild to serious complications.  Consult your doctor immediately when you feel the following symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite cough/hoarseness, persistent diarrhea, redness/flushing of face, eye redness/itching, unusual tiredness, joint pain, pain in the lower back/side/stomach/abdomen, painful/difficult urination, stopped/missed menstrual periods, black/tarry stools, bloody mucus or discharge in stools, fast/irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, swelling of ankles/feet, decreased urination may occur.

Doxorubicin may give a reddish color to your urine, tears, and sweat but this is a normal effect.

Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

Nail changes (including fungal infections in the nail beds) may rarely occur.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain.

Within days to weeks after doxorubicin treatment, a serious skin reaction that looks likes a severe sunburn (radiation recall) may develop on any area of skin that has been previously treated with radiation. Tell your doctor when this happens.

In children, radiation recall may occur in the lungs. Tell the doctor immediately if you notice wheezing or trouble breathing in the child.

Seek emergency medical help if you experience allergies (rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing) or the symptoms mentioned above while taking this drug.


Inform your doctor of your allergies (food or drugs), medical conditions and  medical history before taking this drug, especially of: a current infection, low blood cell counts (e.g., anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia), gout, heart problems (e.g., recent heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat), a history of receiving any anthracycline-type drug (e.g., doxorubicin, idarubicin, daunorubicin, mitoxantrone), kidney problems, liver disease, severe mouth sores (stomatitis), radiation treatment (especially to the chest area).

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure.

Avoid getting cut or bruised.  Protect yourself from infection.

Children may be more sensitive to side effects.

This medication may lower sperm count or may cause abnormal sperm to form, possibly causing infertility or birth defects and affect menstruation in females and cause premature menopause. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.

Pregnant women should not take this drug. Consult your doctor for more details.



Before using this drug, tell your doctor of the current medications, products (herbal/nonprescription) that you are taking especially of: cyclosporine, digoxin, progesterone, streptozocin, stavudine, trastuzumab, zidovudine, azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole), calcium channel blockers (e.g., verapamil, nifedipine), rifamycins (such as rifabutin), St. John’s wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital), among others.

Avoid eating foods or products containing turmeric (curcumin) while taking doxorubicin. It may decrease doxorubicin’s effects. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.


Symptoms of overdose may include: seizures, unexplained bleeding.

Missed Dose

Receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed.


Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Discard the drug properly- do not throw in toilet or sink.



Available Brands:

Adriblastina RD [ Pfizer ]          Adrim [ Fresenius Kabi ]

Axibin [ Korea United Pharma ]            Caelyx [ Janssen ]

Doxorubin [ Pharmachemie ]    Doxovid [ Hovid ]

Ebedoxo [ Sandoz ]      Rubicin [ Biomedis Oncology ]

Sindroxocin [ Actavis ]


Also marketed as

A.D. Mycin [ ADP Pharma ]       Adriblastina [ Pfizer ]

Adrosal [ Naprod ]        Doxorubicin Meiji [ Dong-A ]

Hospira Doxorubicin HCl [ Hospira ]

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