Generic Name: valrubicin (val-ROO-bi-sin)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on April 12, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 taking valrubicin, 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 valrubicin with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using valrubicin 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.
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.
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.
- For bladder cancer:
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:
- Blood in urine
- loss of bladder control
- painful or difficult urination
- red color in urine
- strong urge to urinate
- unusually frequent urination
- Increased urination at night
- local burning sensation
- Frequent urge to defecate
- 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.
More about valrubicin
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- Drug class: antibiotics/antineoplastics
- Other brands
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.