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Chemotherapy Drugs: Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)

Chemotherapy Medicine: Adriamycin

Discover out what doxorubicin is, how you’ve got it and different necessary details about having doxorubicin.

Doxorubicin is a chemotherapy drug and can be identified by its model identify Adriamycin.

It’s a treatment for a lot of various kinds of cancer.

How doxorubicin works

Doxorubicin is a kind of chemotherapy drug referred to as an anthracycline. It slows or stops the expansion of cancer cells by blocking an enzyme referred to as topo isomerase 2. Cancer cells want this enzyme to divide and develop.

You may need doxorubicin together with different chemotherapy medicine.

How you may have doxorubicin

You might have doxorubicin into your bloodstream.

Medicine into your bloodstream

You will have the treatment by way of a drip into your arm. A nurse places a small tube (a cannula) into considered one of your veins and connects the drip to it.

You may want a central line. It is a lengthy plastic tube that offers the medicine into a big vein, both in your chest or via a vein in your arm. It stays in whilst you’re having treatment, which can be for just a few months.

Into the bladder

Generally, doxorubicin could also be given immediately into the bladder to deal with cancer of the bladder lining. That is known as intravesical chemotherapy and the uncomfortable side effects are completely different to doxorubicin given right into a vein.

When you’ve it

You often have the sort of chemotherapy as a course of a number of cycles of treatment. The variety of cycles you have got is dependent upon your treatment plan.

Checks throughout treatment

You’ve got blood exams earlier than beginning treatment and through your treatment. They examine your ranges of blood cells and different substances within the blood. In addition they examine how properly your liver and kidneys are working.

Uncomfortable side effects

Necessary data

Different medicines, meals and drink

Cancer medicine can work together with another medicines and natural merchandise. Inform your physician or pharmacist about any medicines you take. This consists of nutritional vitamins, natural dietary supplements and over-the-counter cures.

Being pregnant and contraception

This drug might hurt a child growing within the womb. It is vital to not turn out to be pregnant or father a baby while you’re having treatment with this drug and for a minimum of 6 months afterwards. Speak to your physician or nurse about efficient contraception earlier than beginning treatment.


You could not be capable to develop into pregnant or father a baby after treatment with this drug. Speak to your physician earlier than beginning treatment should you assume you might need to have a child sooner or later. Males could possibly retailer sperm earlier than beginning treatment. Girls might be able to retailer eggs or ovarian tissue however that is uncommon.


Don’t breastfeed throughout this treatment as a result of the drug could come by way of in your breast milk.

Treatment for different situations

At all times inform different docs, nurses, pharmacists or dentists that you simply’re having this treatment should you want treatment for the rest, together with tooth issues.

If in case you have had radiotherapy

Inform your physician when you’ve got had radiotherapy treatment to your chest which may have been close to to or involving your coronary heart. This might enhance the danger of coronary heart injury from doxorubicin and your physician might want to take this into consideration.


Don’t have immunisations with reside vaccines when you’re having treatment and for at the least 6 months afterwards.

Within the UK, dwell vaccines embrace rubella, mumps, measles, BCG, yellow fever and shingles vaccine (Zostavax).

You may:

  • produce other vaccines, however they may not provide you with as a lot safety as standard
  • have the flu vaccine
  • keep in touch with different individuals who’ve had dwell vaccines as injections

Keep away from contact with individuals who’ve had stay vaccines taken by mouth (oral vaccines). This consists of the rotavirus vaccine given to infants. The virus is within the child’s urine for as much as 2 weeks and may make you sick. So, keep away from altering their nappies for two weeks after their vaccination if potential. Or put on disposable gloves and wash your palms nicely afterwards.

You additionally must keep away from anybody who has had oral polio or typhoid vaccination just lately.

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