Doxil - Doxorubicin Liposomal Injection
What is this medication?
DOXORUBICIN LIPOSOMAL (dox oh ROO bi sin LIP oh som al) treats some types of cancer. 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): Doxil, Lipodox
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Blood disorder
- Heart disease
- Infection especially a viral infection, such as chickenpox, cold sores, herpes
- Liver disease
- Recent or ongoing radiation
- An unusual or allergic reaction to doxorubicin, soybeans, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- If you or your partner are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
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. Special care may be needed.
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?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
This medication may also interact with the following:
- Medications to increase blood counts, such as filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, sargramostim
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 orange-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.
Talk to your care team about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancers if you take this medication.
You should make sure that you get enough Coenzyme Q10 while you are taking this medication. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your care team.
Talk to your care team if you or your partner may be pregnant. Serious birth defects can occur if you take this medication during pregnancy and for 6 months after the last dose. Contraception is recommended while taking this medication and for 6 months after the last dose. Your care team can help you find the option that works for you.
If your partner can get pregnant, use a condom while taking this medication and for 6 months after the last dose.
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
- Infection—fever, chills, cough, sore throat, wounds that don't heal, pain or trouble when passing urine, general feeling of discomfort or being unwell
- Infusion reactions—chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, feeling faint or lightheaded
- Low red blood cell level—unusual weakness or fatigue, dizziness, headache, trouble breathing
- Redness, swelling, and blistering of the skin over hands and feet
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Loss of appetite
- Pain, redness, or swelling with sores inside the mouth or throat
- Red urine
- Unusual weakness or fatigue
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.
Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Doxil
- Apply ice if you have any pain, redness or swelling at the IV site, and notify your doctor.
- Prevention of hand-foot syndrome. Modification of normal activities of daily living to reduce friction and heat exposure to hands and feet, for about a week after treatment. (For more information see - Managing side effects: hand foot syndrome).
- 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 reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.
- 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.
- Drink two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- Keep your bowels moving. Your health care provider may prescribe a stool softener to help prevent constipation that may be caused by Doxil.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be minimized or avoided. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- 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).
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
- Tingling or burning, redness, swelling or peeling of skin, blisters or small sores on the palms of the hands or soles of feet.
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.