Doxorubicin is an anthracycline topoisomerase II inhibitor indicated for:
- Ovarian cancer: After failure of platinum-based chemotherapy.
- AIDS-related Kaposi’s Sarcoma: After failure of prior systemic chemotherapy or intolerance to such therapy.
- Multiple Myeloma: In combination with bortezomib in patients who have not previously received bortezomib and have received at least one prior therapy.
Doxorubicin is a cytotoxic anthracycline antibiotic. The cytotoxic action results from its binding to DNA and inhibition of nucleic acid synthesis. Doxorubicin has been shown to produce regression in a variety of disseminated malignancies.
Administer Doxorubicin at an initial rate of 1 mg/min to minimize the risk of infusion reactions. If no infusion related reactions occur, increase rate of infusion to complete administration over 1 hour. Do not administer as bolus injection or undiluted solution.
- Ovarian cancer: 50 mg/m2 IV every 4 weeks
- AIDS-related Kaposi’s Sarcoma: 20 mg/m2 IV every 3 weeks
- Multiple Myeloma: 30 mg/m2 IV on day 4 following bortezomib
Doxorubicin interacts with a number of other drugs e.g. antibiotics (aminoglycosides), steroids, aminophylline and propranolol.
Cardiac disease, neonates, pregnancy and lactation, prior irradiation to mediastinum. IM/SC admin. Severe myelosuppression due to previous treatment with antitumour agents or radiotherapy.
Leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea. Rarely facial flushing, rash, alopecia. Blurred vision, headache, seizures, paraesthesia, confusion, malaise, lethargy, skin pigmentation.
Category D: There is positive evidence of human foetal risk, but the benefits from use in pregnant women may be acceptable despite the risk (e.g., if the drug is needed in a life-threatening situation or for a serious disease for which safer drugs cannot be used or are ineffective).
Elderly, children, hepatic impairment. Monitor blood counts and ECG.
Acute overdosage may increase the toxic effects of mucositis, leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. Treatment includes hospitalisation of the severely myelosuppressed patient, antimicrobials, platelet transfusions and symptomatic treatment of mucositis. Use of haemopoietic growth factor (G-CSF, GM-CSF) may be considered. Cumulative dosage increases risk of cardiomyopathy and resultant congestive heart failure which may be managed with digitalis preparations, diuretics, and after load reducers such as ACE inhibitors.
serum-bilirubin: 12-30 mcg/ml: Half the normal dose;
serum-bilirubin: >30 mcg/ml: Quarter of the usual dose.
Powder for injection: Store at 15-30°C.
Solution for injection & liposomal formulations: Refrigerate at 2-8°C. Do not freeze.