valrubicin (Intravesical route)

val-ROO-bi-sin

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Valstar

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent

Chemical Class: Anthracycline

Uses For valrubicin

Valrubicin is used as a solution that is run through a tube (instilled through a catheter) into the bladder to treat bladder cancer.

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Valrubicin is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

Before Using valrubicin

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For valrubicin, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to valrubicin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Studies on valrubicin have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of valrubicin in children with use in other age groups.

Geriatric

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing the use of valrubicin in the elderly with use in other age groups, valrubicin has been used mostly in patients older than 60 years of age and is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of valrubicin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bladder irritation or other bladder problems—Increased risk of unwanted effects
  • Small bladder—Possible trouble in being able to hold all of the solution
  • Urinary tract infection

Proper Use of valrubicin

Your doctor may ask you to empty your bladder completely before the solution is instilled into it (unless a tube is used to drain the bladder).

Follow your doctor's instructions carefully about how long to hold the solution in your bladder:

  • The solution should be held in your bladder for 2 hours. If you think you cannot hold it, tell your health care professional.

It is important that you drink extra fluids after each treatment with valrubicin so that you will pass more urine.

Dosing

The dose of valrubicin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of valrubicin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For bladder instillation dosage form (solution):
    • For bladder cancer:
      • Adults—800 milligrams (mg) (75 milliliters [mL]) instilled into the bladder once a week for six weeks.

Precautions While Using valrubicin

Valrubicin commonly causes the urine to turn red for about 24 hours after it is given. This is normal and is no cause for concern. However, tell your doctor if you continue to pass red urine for longer than 24 hours.

valrubicin Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Blood in urine
  • loss of bladder control
  • painful or difficult urination
  • red color in urine
  • strong urge to urinate
  • unusually frequent urination
Less common
  • Increased urination at night
  • local burning sensation
Rare
  • Frequent urge to defecate
  • itching
  • loss of sense of taste

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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