Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 24, 2021.
- Cardiomyopathy: Myocardial damage, including acute left ventricular failure can occur with doxorubicin. The risk of cardiomyopathy is proportional to the cumulative exposure with incidences from 1% to 20% for cumulative doses from 300 mg/m2 to 500 mg/m2 when doxorubicin is administered every 3 weeks. The risk of cardiomyopathy is further increased with concomitant cardiotoxic therapy. Assess LVEF before and regularly during and after treatment with doxorubicin [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
- Secondary Malignancies: Secondary acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) occur at a higher incidence in patients treated with anthracyclines, including doxorubicin [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Extravasation and Tissue Necrosis: Extravasation of doxorubicin can result in severe local tissue injury and necrosis requiring wide excision of the affected area and skin grafting.Immediately terminate the drug, and apply ice to the affected area [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
- Severe myelosuppression resulting in serious infection, septic shock, requirement for transfusions, hospitalization, and death may occur [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].
Adjuvant Breast Cancer
The recommended dose of doxorubicin is 60 mg/m2 administered as an intravenous bolus on day 1 of each 21 day treatment cycle, in combination with cyclophosphamide, for a total of four cycles [see Clinical Studies (14)].
Metastatic Disease, Leukemia, or Lymphoma
- The recommended dose of doxorubicin when used as a single agent is 60 to 75 mg/m2 intravenously every 21 days.
- The recommended dose of doxorubicin, when administered in combination with other chemotherapy drugs, is 40 to 75 mg/m2 intravenously every 21 to 28 days.
- Consider use of the lower doxorubicin dose in the recommended dose range or longer intervals between cycles for heavily pretreated patients, elderly patients, or obese patients.
- Cumulative doses above 550 mg/m2 are associated with an increased risk of cardiomyopathy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Discontinue doxorubicin in patients who develop signs or symptoms of cardiomyopathy.
Doxorubicin is contraindicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C or serum bilirubin >5.0 mg/dL) [see Contraindications (4 )].
Decrease the dose of doxorubicin in patients with elevated serum total bilirubin concentrations as follows:
Serum bilirubin concentration
Doxorubicin Dose reduction
1.2 to 3 mg/dL
3.1 to 5 mg/dL
greater than 5 mg/dL
Do not initiate doxorubicin
Preparation and Administration
Preparation for Continuous Intravenous Infusion
Dilute doxorubicin solution or reconstituted solution in 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection or 5% Dextrose Injection, USP. Protect from light following preparation until completion of infusion.
Visually inspect parenteral drug products for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit. Discard if the solution is discolored, cloudy, or contains particulate matter.
Storage of vials of ADRIAMYCIN (DOXOrubicin HCl) Injection, USP following reconstitution under refrigerated conditions can result in the formation of a gelled product. Place gelled product at room temperature [15º to 30ºC (59º to 86ºF)] for 2 to 4 hours to return the product to a slightly viscous, mobile solution.
Administration by Intravenous Injection:
- Administer doxorubicin as an intravenous injection through a central intravenous line or a secure and free-flowing peripheral venous line containing 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, 0.45% Sodium Chloride Injection, or 5% Dextrose Injection.
- Administer doxorubicin intravenously over 3 to 10 minutes. Decrease the rate of doxorubicin administration if erythematous streaking along the vein proximal to the site of infusion or facial flushing occur.
Administration by Continuous Intravenous Infusion:
- Infuse only through a central catheter. Decrease the rate of doxorubicin administration if erythematous streaking along the vein proximal to the site of infusion or facial flushing occur.
- Protect from light from preparation for infusion until completion of infusion.
Management of Suspected Extravasation
Discontinue doxorubicin for burning or stinging sensation or other evidence indicating perivenous infiltration or extravasation. Manage confirmed or suspected extravasation as follows:
- Do not remove the needle until attempts are made to aspirate extravasated fluid.
- Do not flush the line.
- Avoid applying pressure to the site.
- Apply ice to the site intermittently for 15 min 4 times a day for 3 days.
- If the extravasation is in an extremity, elevate the extremity.
- In adults, consider administration of dexrazoxane [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Incompatibility with Other Drugs
Do not admix doxorubicin with other drugs. If doxorubicin is mixed with heparin or fluorouracil a precipitate may form. Avoid contact with alkaline solutions which can lead to hydrolysis of doxorubicin.
Procedures for Proper Handling and Disposal
Handle and dispose of doxorubicin consistent with recommendations for the handling and disposal of hazardous drugs.1
Treat accidental contact with the skin or eyes immediately by copious lavage with water, or soap and water, or sodium bicarbonate solution. Do not abrade the skin by using a scrub brush. Seek medical attention.
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