by Team Onco

Drug Name: Doxorubicin

Drug Class: It is a chemotherapy drug

Available under the brand name – Adriamycin, Rubex

What Is It Prescribed For? 

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that affects white blood cells)
  • Acute myeloblastic leukemia (a type of blood and bone marrow cancer with excess immature white blood cells)
  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer 
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 
  • Soft-tissue and bone sarcomas (cancers of bone or muscle)
  • Small cell lung cancer 
  • Neuroblastoma (cancer of nerve cells that mainly occurs in children)
  • Wilms tumour (kidney cancer that mostly affects children)

How Is It Given?

It is given as an infusion into a vein once every 3 – 4 weeks.

What Are Common Side Effects?

You may face some of these side effects:

  • Low blood cell count 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight gain
  • Inflammation and soreness of mouth and gut
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperpigmentation (dark patches) of nails, skin rash, etc
  • Hair loss 
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Missing of monthly periods in women
  • Stops sperm production in men
  • Discoloration of urine to red-orange
  • Increased thirst
  • Allergic reactions

Your doctor can prescribe medication to control these side effects. Doxorubicin may also cause other side effects. If you face any unusual or serious problems, inform your doctor immediately. 

Who Should Avoid Taking This Drug?

Patients with the following characteristics should avoid taking this drug:

  • Severe drug-induced myelosuppression (Decreased levels of blood cell count due to the drug) 
  • Severe liver failure
  • Recent myocardial infarction (a heart attack that occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked)
  • Severe myocardial insufficiency (inability of the heart to perform its functions)
  • Known hypersensitivity to Doxorubicin or any of its ingredients

How Much Does This Drug Cost?

Available in 10mg, 20mg, 50mg, 150mg, and 200mg vials. Depending on the brand, the cost of Doxorubicin 50mg can range between INR 300 – INR 19,000 per vial.

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