Daunorubicin Injection

What is this medication?

DAUNORUBICIN (daw noe ROO bi sin) treats leukemia. It works by slowing down the growth of cancer cells.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Cerubidine

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Blood disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Infection, such as chickenpox, cold sores, herpes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Recent or ongoing radiation therapy
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to daunorubicin, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is injected into a vein. It is given by your care team in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

Keep appointments for follow-up doses. It is important not to miss your dose. Call your care team if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Methotrexate

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medication.

You may need blood work while taking this medication.

This medication may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your care team tells you to stop.

Your urine may turn red for a few days after your dose. This is not blood. If your urine is dark or brown, call your care team.

In some cases, you may be given additional medications to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.

This medication may increase your risk of getting an infection. Call your care team for advice if you get a fever, chills, sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

This medication may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your care team if you notice any unusual bleeding.

There is a maximum amount of this medication you should receive throughout your life. The amount depends on the medical condition being treated and your overall health. Your care team will watch how much of this medication you receive. Tell your care team if you have taken this medication before.

Talk to your care team if you wish to become pregnant or think you might be pregnant. This medication can cause serious birth defects if taken during pregnancy. A reliable form of contraception is recommended while taking this medication. Talk to your care team about effective forms of contraception.

Do not breastfeed while taking this medication.

This medication may cause infertility. Talk to your care team if you are concerned about your fertility.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Heart failure—shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands, sudden weight gain, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • High uric acid level—severe pain, redness, warmth, or swelling in joints, pain or trouble passing urine, pain in the lower back or sides
  • Infection—fever, chills, cough, sore throat, wounds that don't heal, pain or trouble when passing urine, general feeling of discomfort or being unwell
  • Low red blood cell level—unusual weakness or fatigue, dizziness, headache, trouble breathing
  • Painful swelling, warmth, or redness of the skin, blisters or sores at the infusion site
  • Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS)—nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decrease in the amount of urine, dark urine, unusual weakness or fatigue, confusion, muscle pain or cramps, fast or irregular heartbeat, joint pain
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Red urine
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This medication is given in a hospital or clinic. It will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

© 2023 Elsevier/Gold Standard (2009-02-07 00:00:00)


Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Daunorubicin

Self-Care Tips:

  • Apply ice if you have any pain, redness or swelling at the IV site, and notify your doctor.
  • Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • To help treat/prevent mouth sores, use a soft toothbrush, and rinse three times a day with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda and/or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt mixed with 8 ounces of water.
  • Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
  • Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
  • To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.
  • Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 30 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
  • In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Maintain good nutrition.
  • If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.

When to contact your doctor or health care provider:

Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher or chills (possible signs of infection).
  • Blistering at the IV site.
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing, closing up of the throat, swelling or facial features, hives (possible allergic reaction).

The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:

  • Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)
  • Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication).
  • Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
  • Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
  • Fast or irregular heart beats
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools or urine. Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities).
  • Swelling of the feet or ankles
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin

Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.


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