Adriamycin

brand

Adriamycin Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, drug therapy may be needed to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Not eating before your treatment may help relieve vomiting. Changes in diet and lifestyle, such as eating several small meals and limiting activity, may help lessen some of these effects. If any of these effects continue or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist.

Doxorubicin may give a reddish color to your urine, tears, and sweat. This effect may start in the first hours after treatment and may last up to several days. This is a normal effect of the drug and should not be mistaken for blood in your urine.

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.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain), redness/flushing of face, eye redness/itching, cough/hoarseness, persistent diarrhea, 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, dizziness, decreased urination.

Painful sores on the lips, mouth and throat may occur. To decrease the risk, limit hot foods and drinks, brush your teeth carefully, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth frequently with cool water.

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. Also, doxorubicin may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you have skin redness, pain, tenderness, swelling, peeling, blisters, or if you get sunburned. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help your skin heal faster and reduce the swelling.

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

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
  • infection
  • dehydration
  • severe bone marrow depression
  • thrombocytopenic disorder
  • leukopenia
  • neutropenic disorder
  • peripheral motor neuropathy
  • keratitis
  • conjunctivitis
  • eye tearing
  • pericarditis
  • cardiomyopathy
  • chronic heart failure
  • left ventricular failure
  • myocarditis
  • cardiotoxicity
  • thromboembolic disorder
  • thrombophlebitis
  • phlebosclerosis
  • stomatitis
  • esophagitis
  • gastrointestinal ulcer
  • skin photosensitivity
  • postirradiation erythema
  • pruritus of skin
  • nail discoloration
  • alopecia
  • urticaria
  • dyschromia
  • skin pigmentation enhancement
  • myelodysplastic syndrome
  • coma
  • seizure disorder
  • fever
  • chills
  • skin rash
  • palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia
  • anorexia
  • weight gain
  • dyspnea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • urine discoloration
  • anaphylaxis
  • injection site sequelae
  • general weakness
  • malaise
  • tissue necrosis
  • extravasation injury
  • chemotherapy-induced hyperuricemia
  • acute abdominal pain
  • colonic necrosis
  • secondary acute myeloid leukemia
  • hyperpigmentation of oral mucosa
  • radiation recall syndrome
  • drug-induced hot flash
  • increased alanine transaminase
  • increased aspartate transaminase
  • peripheral sensory neuropathy

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: digoxin, progesterone, streptozocin, stavudine, trastuzumab, zidovudine.

Other medications can affect the removal of doxorubicin from your body, which may affect how doxorubicin works. Examples include 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, primidone), 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.