Daunorubicin is used in the treatment of blood cancer
How it works
Daunorubicin works by damaging the genetic material (DNA) of the cancer cells and stops their growth and multiplication.
Common side effects
Nausea, Vomiting, Reduced blood platelets, Ulcer, Infection, Abdominal pain, Loss of appetite, Decreased white blood cell count, Hair loss, Fever, Decreased blood cells (red cells, white cells, and platelets), Fatigue, Anemia, Chills, Diarrhoea, Mucosal inflammation, Febrile neutropenia, Stomatitis (Inflammation of the mouth), Breathing difficulty
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- You must undergo careful examination of functioning of the heart as daunorubicin is known to cause life-threatening heart problems due to damage to heart muscles (myocardium).
- Daunorubicin should be used cautiously is elderly, children, and patients with high blood pressure (manifest arterial hypertension) due to increased risk of developing heart complications.
- You may be frequently examined for complete blood-count (blood cells, proteins, hemoglobin), kidney, liver and heart function before and during the course of treatment.
- Tell your doctor if you have had, have an ongoing or scheduled radiation therapy or X-ray of the chest area. Daunorubicin increases the risk of reactions at the site of radiation therapy (or risk of heart problem if the chest area is involved) and should be used cautiously.
- You should be monitored for worsening of infections and development of life-threatening infections (e.g. viral infections like herpes zoster) as daunorubicin is known to suppress the activity of the immune system.
- Liposomal preparation of daunorubicin is not recommended for use in children <18 years.
- Before starting daunorubicin treatment, make sure that you are free from any side effects of previous chemotherapy (inflammation of the mouth, abnormal blood cell counts and generalized infections).
- Both partners should take extreme care to avoid pregnancy while on daunorubicin therapy and consult your doctor if you get to know that you are pregnant.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Is daunorubicin a vesicant?
Yes. Daunorubicin is a vesicant (irritant) and can cause severe tissue damage upon extravasation (leaking of injected daunorubicin into the surrounding tissues from the site of administration) when injected
Q. What is daunorubicin used for?
Daunorubicin is used in combination with other cancer medications to subside the progression of cancers of the white blood cell (acute myeloid and acute lymphocytic leukemia). Liposomal formulation of daunorubicin is used for the treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma (a type of cancer that causes patches of abnormal tissue to grow under the skin) in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
Q. How is daunorubicin administered?
Daunorubicin comes as a solution or powder to be added to fluid and injected into a vein (intravenous) along with other chemotherapy medications by a doctor who is experienced in giving chemotherapy medications for cancer in a hospital or a clinic
Q. How often is daunorubicin given?
The frequency and duration of daunorubicin treatment depends on the other chemotherapy medications you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have
Q. How does daunorubicin work?
Daunorubicin is an anti-cancer drug which belongs to the class, anthracycline cytotoxic antibiotics. The exact mechanism for its clinical effects is not clear; however multiple mechanisms directly interfering with important DNA processes and cell division are thought to be responsible for slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.