Doxorubicin

17

Summary

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Key Points

  • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
    • Mechanism
      • Antineoplastic / Immunosuppressant
        • Anthracycline
          • Inhibits DNA and RNA synthesis
    • Clinical Use
      • Cancer / Chemotherapy
        • Breast and ovarian cancer
        • Lung cancer
        • Lymphomas
    • Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
      • Cardiotoxicity
        • Especially dilated cardiomyopathy with systolic dysfunction
        • Doxorubicin is given with the drug dexrazoxane, a chemoprotective drug that helps prevent cardiotoxicity
      • Pink/red urine discoloration
        • A harmless, expected side effect
      • Common chemotherapy side effects
        • Bone marrow suppression
          • Common side effect of many chemotherapeutic drugs due to damage of rapidly-dividing blood cell progenitors
          • Leads to anemia (low red blood cells)
            • Fatigue, dyspnea, pallor
          • Leads to leukopenia (low white blood cells)
            • Increased risk for infection
          • Leads to thrombocytopenia (low platelets)
            • Petechiae, purpura, bleeding
        • GI disturbances
          • Nausea, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea
          • Common side effect of many chemotherapeutic drugs due to damage of rapidly-dividing gut wall
          • An antiemetic may be ordered prior to chemotherapy
        • Alopecia (hair loss)