Doxorubicin is the active ingredient of Adriblastina (Nappi code: 894042-003,
894044-001, 701254-009,), Caelyx (Nappi code: 867411-007, 899468-001) and
Doxorubicin (Nappi code: 823619-002, 823627-005, 823635-008, 823643-019,
Doxorubicin is an antineoplastic medicine. Antineoplastics are drugs that
prevent the development or growth of cancer cells.
In South Africa doxorubicin is registered for the treatment of various tumors
including breast and ovarian cancer, and Aids-related Kaposi's sarcoma.
This medication may cause urine to appear red for 1 - 2 days after
Women of childbearing age should avoid falling pregnant while being treated
with (or for 6 months after) doxorubicin - the use of barrier contraception is
therefore advised. Male patients should also avoid fathering a child while
How does doxorubicin work?
Doxorubicin interferes with the normal dividing and multiplying of cancer
cells, thereby stopping them from multiplying uncontrollably or abnormally in
Drug schedule: schedule 4
Available as: doxorubicin is available as an injection.
Dependence risk: low
Is doxorubicin available on prescription only? yes
Onset of effect: within 10 days
Duration of action: up to 21 days
Stopping this medicine: do not stop treatment with this drug without
consulting your doctor.
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:
- you have liver disease
- you have a history of heart disease
- you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- you have diabetes
Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported.
Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. This medication is passed through breastmilk and
may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your
condition. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in
children under the age of 18 years.
Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.
Possible side effects
Most frequent effects include:
- red urine
- hair loss
- local irritation
You should tell your doctor which medicines (including those bought without
Prescription), and herbal medicines you are taking, before you start your
chemotherapy. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new
medicines during your treatment.
This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for
informational purposes only.
Please consult a physician for specific treatment and