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Daunorubicin

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

Medically reviewed on Oct 1, 2018

What is daunorubicin?

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

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

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

Important Information

Daunorubicin 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.

Daunorubicin 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 daunorubicin if you are allergic to it.

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

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

Do not use daunorubicin 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 daunorubicin.

How should I use daunorubicin?

Daunorubicin 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 daunorubicin is injected.

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

Daunorubicin 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 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 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.

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:

  • 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.

Daunorubicin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Acute Nonlymphocytic Leukemia:

Under 60 years of age: 45 mg/m2 IV over 2 to 5 minutes once a day on days 1, 2, and 3 for the first course and on days 1 and 2 for subsequent courses) with cytosine arabinoside (ara-C) intravenously once a day (usually for 7 days for the first course and 5 days for subsequent courses) as remission induction therapy.

Usual Adult Dose for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia:

For Remission Induction:

45 mg/m2/day IV on days 1, 2, and 3 (along with vincristine, prednisone, and L-asparginase therapy)

Usual Geriatric Dose for Acute Nonlymphocytic Leukemia:

Greater than or equal to 60 years of age: 30 mg/m2 IV over 2-5 minutes once a day on days 1, 2, and 3 for the first course and on days 1 and 2 for subsequent courses) with cytosine arabinoside (ara-C) intravenously once a day (usually for 7 days for the first course and 5 days for subsequent courses) as remission induction therapy.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acute Myeloid Leukemia:

As a part of combination therapy: Induction:
30 to 60 mg/m2/day by continuous IV infusion on days 1 to 3 of cycle

or

20 mg/m2/day for 4 days every 14 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia:

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia combination therapy: Remission Induction:

less than 2 years or less than 0.5 m2:
1 mg/kg per protocol with frequency dependent on regimen employed.

greater than 2 years or greater than 0.5 m2:
25 mg/m2 IV on day 1 every week (along with vincristine and prednisolone therapy). Generally complete remission will be obtained after 4 courses of therapy. If needed, an additional 1 or 2 courses of therapy may be administered in an effort to obtain a complete remission.

or

25 to 45 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 of cycle (as a part of combination chemotherapy)

or

30 to 45 mg/m2/day for 3 days every 3 to 4 weeks

What other drugs will affect daunorubicin?

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