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Daunorubicin

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

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Sep 10, 2020 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is daunorubicin?

Daunorubicin is used in combination chemotherapy to treat leukemia.

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

Important Information

Daunorubicin may cause dangerous effects on your heart, and can also increase your risk of bleeding or infection. Call your doctor at once if you have chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling or rapid weight gain, fever, chills, tiredness, easy bruising or unusual bleeding.

Before taking this medicine

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

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • 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 daunorubicin (Daunoxome).

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

Daunorubicin may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

You should not breastfeed while using daunorubicin.

How should I use daunorubicin?

Daunorubicin is given as an infusion into a vein. 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.

You may be given other medications to help prevent serious side effects or an allergic reaction. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

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

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

Daunorubicin can increase your risk of bleeding or infection. You will need frequent medical tests. 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 daunorubicin injection.

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 daunorubicin?

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

Daunorubicin 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:

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

  • heart problems--swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;

  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed;

  • kidney problems--little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired; or

  • liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • sores or white patches in or around your mouth, trouble swallowing or talking, dry mouth, bad breath, altered sense of taste;

  • red discoloration of the urine;

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • hair loss.

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 daunorubicin?

Daunorubicin can harm your liver, especially if you also use certain medicines for infections, tuberculosis, birth control, hormone replacement, high cholesterol, heart problems, high blood pressure, seizures, pain, or arthritis (including Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, or Aleve).

Other drugs may affect daunorubicin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions