Find & Manage Your Patient Assistance Programs
Estimated patient savings $600,000,000.00
Doxorubicin HCl intraven.

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.



COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Adriamycin, Rubex

WARNING: This medication must be given slowly and directly into a vein (IV) through other intravenous (IV) fluids. Do not inject this medication into the muscle (IM) or just beneath the skin (subcutaneously). If this medication accidentally leaks into surrounding tissue, the skin and/or muscle may be severely damaged. Notify the doctor immediately if redness, pain, or swelling occur at (or around) the injection site. Doxorubicin may cause heart problems (including heart failure) or bone marrow suppression. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop an irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, swelling of the hands or feet, easy bruising or bleeding, dry cough, or signs of infection such as fever, unusual fatigue, or persistent sore throat. Heart problems may occur during therapy or sometimes, months to years after receiving this medication. The risk of developing heart problems varies depending on your dose and condition. Tell your doctor if you have liver problems since the dose should be decreased in this situation. Your doctor will closely monitor you while you are using this medication.


Doxorubicin is one of a large group of drugs known as "antineoplastics"; these drugs are also known as cancer drugs, chemotherapy, or "chemo". They are used in the treatment of various cancers to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. A combination of different types of cancer drugs will often be used to achieve better results and minimize side effects.

How To Use

This is a potent medication. Use it exactly as prescribed. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience pain, burning or redness at the place where injected. Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication. This helps your kidneys to remove the drug from your body and avoid some of the side effects. Do not stop taking this medication, even if you feel nauseated or experience vomiting.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are common side effects. Taking the medication on an empty stomach may help relieve vomiting. Changes in diet such as eating several small meals or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. In some cases, drug therapy may be necessary to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. This medication may turn your urine a reddish color. This is a normal effect of the drug as it leaves your body and is not blood in the urine. The effect should clear up within 2 days after each dose is given. Temporary hair loss is another common side effect; normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: sores in mouth or on lips, fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, painful or difficult urination, fast or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling of feet or lower legs, stomach pain, joint pain, unusual bleeding or bruising, black or tarry stools, blood in urine or stools, small red spots on the skin, skin rash, itchy skin. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor if you have: blood disorders, heart disease, liver disease. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this drug. It is not known if this drug is excreted into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding. Because this medication can affect the production of sperm in men, a reliable form of birth control is recommended while using this drug.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all nonprescription and prescription medication you may use, especially of: digoxin, other anti-cancer drugs, progesterones, verapamil, cyclosporine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, streptozocin, live virus vaccines. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.


This medication can lower your body's ability to fight an infection. Notify your doctor if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, sore throat, rash, or chills. Avoid touching your eyes or inside your nose without first washing your hands. Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports in order to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised or injured. Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine. Regular doctor visits are important. Frequent blood tests will be done to monitor therapy.

Missed Dose

For optimal benefits, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, inform your doctor.


Store powder at room temperature.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).