Doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Rubex, Doxil)
is a chemotherapy drug belonging to antineoplastic medication family. It is used to treat different types of
cancer including prostate cancer. This anti-cancer medication works by obstructing the growth of cancer cells
and slows their development in the body. Although this drug is used as medication for many types of cancers, it
can be more effective in treating certain malignant tumors.
Indications: the main variety of cancers that Doxorubicin is used to treat include cervical cancer,
endometrial cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, ovarian cancer, Carcinoid tumors, multiple myeloma,
pancreatic cancer, cancer of the Oesophagus. This drug is also indicated in few types of cancers that occur in
children (Retinoblastoma, hepatoblastoma), Adrenal cortex cancers, and in the treatment of the symptoms of auto
immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Dosage: Doxorubicin is
administered only in hospital by specialists in oncology, hematology, or by well trained and experienced nurses.
Special monitoring is required at the time of the treatment when using this drug. Doxorubicin is injected into a
vein over 3-10 minutes. In special cases, the medication can be taken by continuous combination over a period of
48 to 96 hours. High doses of Doxorubicin may enhance toxic effects, causing heart problems and severe
aplitic anaemia. Blood transfusions or other supportive measures are included in the treatment for an overdose
of the drug.
may face contraindications in following conditions:
of pregnancy or lactating mothers
patient is suffering from kidney failure or other related problems
patient has taken any vaccination for measles or flu
patient has any heart disease or having low blood counts
patient is allergic to this drug or any of its components
Mechanism of Action (MOA): Growth of the
cancer cells are prohibited by reducing the amalgamation of DNA and RNA, a genetic increase for the reproduction
and development of the cancer cells. This drug interacts with DNA and inhibits the macromolecular biosynthesis.
It also stabilizes the topoisomerase II complex thus preventing the replication of DNA.
Interactions: Doxorubicin is
a new preparation of liposomal doxorubicin which is, supposedly, the same to Adriamycin in effectiveness. It
delivers lesser amount of toxicity to the normal tissues of the rest of the body. Association of Doxorubicin
with certain drugs can modify its curative effects and increase the risk of developing side effects.
Ganciclovir, Amphotericin B, Azathioprine, Digoxin, Plicamycin, Amiodarone, Barbiturates (depressant drug),
Cimetidiine, Colchicines (Alkylating agent used for various types of cancers) are some of the drugs used in
interaction with Doxorubicin. In rare cases, non-cancerous cells are damaged with the combined use of the
Side Effects: The medication is generally associated with side
effects which can be minor or severe. Over dosing Doxorubicin may lead
to enhancement of its toxic effects. Intake of its high doses may cause serious heart problems or serious
aplastic anemia (inability of bone marrow to produce adequate new cells) within two
Some times its overdosing
proves to be so fatal that it can lead to heart failure even after 6 months. In such cases doctor must be
consulted at earliest for instituting of relevant supportive measures like blood transfusion, medication, other
treatment or even hospital stay.