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Daunorubicin

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Daunorubicin can cause a decrease in the number of blood cells in your bone marrow. Daunorubicin with prolonged use also can cause severe heart damage. Tell your doctor if you have had prior chemotherapy with daunorubicin, doxorubicin, or idarubicin. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: back pain, flushing, or chest tightness. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to daunorubicin.

About your treatment

Your doctor has ordered the drug daunorubicin to help treat your illness. The drug is given by injection into a vein.

This medication is used to treat:

  • acute myeloid leukemia
  • acute lymphocytic leukemia

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Daunorubicin is a type of antibiotic that is only used in cancer chemotherapy. It slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.

Other uses for this medicine

Daunorubicin also is used to treat neuroblastoma. Daunorubicin has been used with other cancer- fighting drugs to treat the blastic phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.

Precautions

Before taking daunorubicin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to daunorubicin or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially aspirin and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, liver, or kidney disease.
  • you should know that daunorubicin may interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop sperm production in men. However, you should not assume that you cannot get pregnant or that you cannot get someone else pregnant. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should tell their doctors before they begin taking this drug. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments. (Talk to your doctor for further details.) Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Daunorubicin may harm the fetus.
  • do not have any vaccinations (e.g., measles or flu shots) without talking to your doctor.

Side effects

Side effects from daunorubicin are common and include:

  • nausea and vomiting which may last up to 24 or 48 hours after treatment
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty swallowing
  • thinned or brittle hair
  • skin irritation (sunburn-like) or rash on areas previously exposed to radiation treatments
  • darkening of fingernails or toenails

Tell your doctor if either of these symptoms is severe or lasts for several hours:

  • fatigue
  • mouth blistering

If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • red urine or sweat
  • pain at the injection site
  • persistent diarrhea or any change in normal bowel habits for more than 2 days
  • fever
  • chills
  • sore throat
  • breathing discomfort

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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