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Generic Name: daunorubicin (DAW noe ROO bi sin)
Brand Name: Cerubidine

Medically reviewed by on Sep 30, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Cerubidine?

Cerubidine is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Cerubidine is used in the treatment of leukemia (blood cancer).

Cerubidine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Cerubidine may cause dangerous effects on your heart. Call your doctor at once if you have chest pain, shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, or rapid weight gain.

Cerubidine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Cerubidine if you are allergic to it.

To make sure Cerubidine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicines); or

  • if you have ever been treated with doxorubicin, epirubicin, idarubicin, mitoxantrone, or liposomal Cerubidine (Daunoxome).

Using Cerubidine may increase your risk of developing other types of leukemia. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.

Do not use Cerubidine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether daunorubicin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using Cerubidine.

How should I use Cerubidine?

Cerubidine is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Before you receive each dose of daunorubicin, your heart function may need to be checked with an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). Your kidney and liver function may also need to be checked.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when Cerubidine is injected.

Skin accidentally exposed to Cerubidine should be rinsed thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Cerubidine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Cerubidine.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while using Cerubidine?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Cerubidine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Cerubidine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • chest pain, shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum);

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • pain, burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;

  • temporary hair loss, mild itching or rash; or

  • red colored urine for 1 or 2 days following a dose.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Cerubidine?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Cerubidine, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with daunorubicin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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