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Mitoxantrone

Generic Name: mitoxantrone (mye toe ZAN trone)
Brand Name: Novantrone

Medically reviewed on August 6, 2018

What is mitoxantrone?

See also: Aubagio

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

Mitoxantrone is used to treat prostate cancer and certain types of leukemia.

Mitoxantrone is also used to treat the symptoms of relapsing multiple sclerosis. This medication will not cure multiple sclerosis.

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

Important Information

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

Your heart rate may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG) before, during, and after your treatment with mitoxantrone. Mitoxantrone can have long lasting effects on your heart.

Mitoxantrone 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, tired feeling, easy bruising or bleeding). Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

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

Using mitoxantrone may increase your risk of other types of cancer, such as leukemia.

Before taking this medicine

Before you are treated with mitoxantrone, tell your doctor about all other cancer medications and treatments you have received, including radiation.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to mitoxantrone.

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

Using mitoxantrone may increase your risk of other types of cancer, such as leukemia.

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

You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before each injection of mitoxantrone.

Mitoxantrone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using mitoxantrone.

How is mitoxantrone given?

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

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

Mitoxantrone can cause serious heart damage.

Your heart rate may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG) before, during, and after your treatment with mitoxantrone.

Mitoxantrone can also 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.

Mitoxantrone may cause your urine to turn a blue-green color. You may also notice a bluish discoloration of the whites of your eyes. This side effect should last only a few days and is not harmful.

You must remain under the care of a doctor while receiving mitoxantrone.

Mitoxantrone can have long lasting effects on your heart. Your doctor may want to check your heart function at yearly visits even after your mitoxantrone treatment ends. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your mitoxantrone injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving mitoxantrone?

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

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

mitoxantrone 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.

Mitoxantrone 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.

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

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • signs of infection such as fever, night sweats, sore throat, easy bruising or bleeding, loss of appetite, weight loss, bone pain, unusual weakness;

  • swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);

  • swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • pain or burning when you urinate; or

  • pain, burning, swelling, redness, bruising, or skin changes where the injection was given.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain;

  • hair loss;

  • missed menstrual periods;

  • runny or stuffy nose;

  • feeling tired; or

  • blue-green colored urine or a bluish color of the whites of the eyes for a few days after each 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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect mitoxantrone?

Other drugs may interact with mitoxantrone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now 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.

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