This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Doxil; Lipodox 50 [DSC]
Caelyx; TARO-Doxorubicin Liposomal
- This drug may cause severe heart problems like heart failure. This can happen during treatment or years after your last dose. Sometimes, these problems will not go away or may be deadly. The chance may be higher if you have ever had heart problems or chest area radiation, or are using other drugs that may cause heart problems. The chance may be higher if you have ever had this drug or other drugs like this one. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if any of your drugs may cause heart problems. The chance of heart problems depends on the dose of this drug and your health problem. In children, the chance of heart problems later in life is higher. Heart problems may happen even without any risk factors. Call your doctor right away if you have cough, fast or slow heartbeat, abnormal heartbeat, swelling in the arms or legs, shortness of breath, sudden weight gain, or feel very tired or weak.
- Side effects like flushing, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling of the face, headache, chills, back pain, chest pain, chest or throat tightness, fever, fast heartbeat, itching, blue or gray skin, very bad dizziness, or passing out have happened with this drug during the infusion. Most of the time, these side effects happen with the first infusion and go away within a few hours to a day after the infusion is stopped. Sometimes, these reactions have been very bad and even life-threatening or deadly. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these signs.
- It is used to treat cancer.
- If you have an allergy to doxorubicin or any other part of this drug.
- If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take this drug if you are in the first trimester of pregnancy.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- You will need to have heart function tests while taking this drug. Talk with the doctor.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- If you have upset stomach, throwing up, diarrhea, or are not hungry, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
- To help with mouth sores, use a soft toothbrush or cotton swabs and rinse the mouth. Do not use mouth rinses that have alcohol in them.
- If you have had daunorubicin, doxorubicin, epirubicin, idarubicin, or mitoxantrone before, talk with your doctor.
- Cases of mouth cancer have happened in people who have used this drug long-term (more than 1 year). These cancers have happened during treatment and up to 6 years after the last dose. Your doctor will check your mouth while you take this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have mouth pain, sores, or ulcers.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use of some vaccines with this drug may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- This drug may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child. This may go back to normal but sometimes it may not. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.
- Menstrual periods may stop during treatment with this drug. This may not go back to normal. People treated with this drug may go through menopause at a younger age than normal. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- This drug may cause harm to an unborn baby. A pregnancy test will be done before you start this drug to show that you are NOT pregnant.
- If you may become pregnant, you must use birth control while taking this drug and for some time after the last dose. Ask your doctor how long to use birth control. If you get pregnant, call your doctor right away.
- If your sex partner may get pregnant, you must use birth control while taking this drug and for some time after the last dose. Ask your doctor how long to use birth control. If your partner gets pregnant, call the doctor right away.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up or coughing up blood; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; abnormal vaginal bleeding; bruises without a cause or that get bigger; or bleeding you cannot stop.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Redness or irritation of the palms of hands or soles of feet.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Blood clots in the lungs have happened with this drug. Blood clots in the lungs may be very bad or life-threatening. Call your doctor right away if you have chest pain or pressure, coughing up blood, fast breathing, fast heartbeat, or shortness of breath.
- This drug may irritate the vein. If the drug leaks from the vein, it may also cause irritation around that area. Tell your nurse if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your body.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, throwing up, or feeling less hungry.
- Back pain.
- Hair loss.
- Throat irritation.
- Weight loss.
- Urine and other body fluids may change to an orange or red color. This is normal.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
- If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
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