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Doxorubicin (Conventional)

Cardiac; Hepatic; Myelosuppression; Extravasation RiskExtravasation

  • Severe local tissue necrosis will occur if there is extravasation during administration (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Doxorubicin must not be given by the intramuscular or subcutaneous route.

Cardiotoxicity

  • Myocardial toxicity manifested in its most severe form by potentially fatal congestive heart failure (CHF) may occur either during therapy or months to years after termination of therapy.
  • The probability of developing impaired myocardial function based on a combined index of signs, symptoms and decline in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is estimated to be 1 to 2% at a total cumulative dose of 300 mg/m2 of doxorubicin, 3 to 5% at a dose of 400 mg/m2, 5 to 8% at 450 mg/m2 and 6 to 20% at 500 mg/m2. The risk of developing CHF increases rapidly with increasing total cumulative doses of doxorubicin in excess of 400 mg/m2.
  • Risk factors (active or dormant cardiovascular disease, prior or concomitant radiotherapy to the mediastinal/pericardial area, previous therapy with other anthracyclines or anthracenediones, concomitant use of other cardiotoxic drugs) may increase the risk of cardiac toxicity.
  • Cardiac toxicity with doxorubicin may occur at lower cumulative doses whether or not cardiac risk factors are present. Pediatric patients are at increased risk for developing delayed cardiotoxicity.

Secondary Neoplasia

  • Secondary acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) has been reported in patients treated with anthracyclines, including doxorubicin (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
  • The occurrence of refractory secondary AML or MDS is more common when anthracyclines are given in combination with DNA-damaging anti-neoplastic agents or radiotherapy, when patients have been heavily pretreated with cytotoxic drugs, or when doses of anthracyclines have been escalated.
  • The rate of developing secondary AML or MDS has been estimated in an analysis of 8563 patients with early breast cancer treated in 6 studies conducted by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), including NSABP B-15. Patients in these studies received standard doses of doxorubicin and standard or escalated doses of cyclophosphamide (AC) adjuvant chemotherapy and were followed for 61,810 patient years. Among 4483 such patients who received conventional doses of AC, 11 cases of AML or MDS were identified, for an incidence of 0.32 cases per 1000 patient years (95% CI 0.16–0.57) and a cumulative incidence at 5 years of 0.21% (95% CI 0.11–.41%).
  • In another analysis of 1474 patients with breast cancer who received adjuvant treatment with doxorubicin-containing regimens in clinical trials conducted at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the incidence was estimated at 1.5% at 10 years. In both experiences, patients who received regimens with higher cyclophosphamide dosages, who received radiotherapy, or who were aged 50 or older had an increased risk of secondary AML or MDS.
  • Pediatric patients are also at risk of developing secondary AML.

Reduced Dose in Hepatic Dysfunction

  • Dosage should be reduced in patients with impaired hepatic function.

Myelosuppression

  • Severe myelosuppression may occur.

Experienced Physician

  • Doxorubicin should be administered only under the supervision of a physician who is experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

MONITORING RECOMMENDATIONS RELATED TO BLACK BOX DATA

  • Risk of cardiac impairment increases with total cumulative doses from 300 mg/m2 to 500 mg/m2
  • Risk of CHF increases total cumulative doses exceed 450 mg/m2
  • CHF may occur at lower cumulative doses in patients with mediastinal irradiation, with concurrent cyclophosphamide therapy, or with pre-existing heart disease.
  • Pediatric patients at increased risk for developing delayed cardiotoxicity

Package Inserts

Doxorubicin

Additional Information

Updated January 2018