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dexrazoxane (Intravenous route)


Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Totect
  • Zinecard

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution

Therapeutic Class: Cardioprotective Agent

Uses For dexrazoxane

Dexrazoxane is used to help prevent or lessen the toxic effects of certain cancer medicines used to treat women with breast cancer.

Dexrazoxane injection is used to treat tissue damage caused by the leakage of certain cancer medicines from the injection site.

dexrazoxane is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.

Before Using dexrazoxane

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 dexrazoxane, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to dexrazoxane 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.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of dexrazoxane injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of dexrazoxane injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving dexrazoxane injection.


Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters D Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

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. When you are receiving dexrazoxane, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using dexrazoxane with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Doxorubicin
  • Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome

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 dexrazoxane. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Blood disorder or bleeding problem (eg, leukopenia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia)—May make this condition worse.
  • Kidney disease—The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use of dexrazoxane

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you dexrazoxane. It is given through a needle placed into one of your veins. It must also be given slowly, so the needle will have to stay in place for at least 1 hour.

dexrazoxane must be injected right away and within 6 hours after tissue damage caused by the leakage of certain cancer medicines for 3 days.

dexrazoxane should come with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Missed Dose

dexrazoxane needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Precautions While Using dexrazoxane

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that dexrazoxane is working properly. Blood tests are needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using dexrazoxane while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment with dexrazoxane. If you think you have become pregnant while using dexrazoxane, tell your doctor right away.

Dexrazoxane can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

  • If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
  • Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
  • Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects, such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
  • Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

dexrazoxane 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.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Bluish color
  • changes in skin color
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cold hands and feet
  • cough
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • fever
  • hoarseness
  • lower back or side pain
  • pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
  • tenderness
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • chest discomfort
  • fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • pain at the injection site
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth

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
  • Diarrhea
  • difficulty having a bowel movement
  • discouragement
  • dizziness
  • feeling sad or empty
  • hair loss
  • headache
  • irritability
  • lack or loss of appetite
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • muscle pain, spasms, cramps, or stiffness
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • thinning of the hair
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

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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