Adriamycin is a prescription medicine used to treat certain types of cancer. It is in a class of drugs known as anthracycline antibiotics. Adriamycin works by slowing and stopping growth of cancer cells in body. It may be used alone or in combination with other types of medicines to treat cancer.
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Doctors may prescribe Adriamycin in patients who have certain types of lung, breast, bladder, and ovarian cancer. Patients with cancer of white blood cells may also be prescribed Adriamycin. It is used to treat Hodgkin"s disease and cancer that begins in cells of immune system or non-Hodgkin"s lymphoma. Other uses of Adriamycin are treatment of Wilms" tumor, a type of kidney cancer that mainly affects children, neuroblastoma or cancer that begins in nerve cells, as well as cancer of soft tissue or bone sarcomas. Adriamycin like other anthracyclines kills cancer cells by causing damage to their genes and interfering with production of the cancerous cells.
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Hodgkin"s disease
- non-Hodgkin"s lymphoma
Adriamycin is administered by intravenous injection (IV) through a vein. It may also be administered by continuous infusion. Adriamycin is usually given one time in every 21 to 28 days and the length of treatment may depend on which other type of drugs you might be taking and how the body responds to such drugs. The type of cancer a patient has also determines the period of administering Adriamycin.
- To treat adjuvant breast cancer, a dose of 60 mg/m2 is given to a patient on the first day of every 21-day treatment cycle along with cyclophosphamide. A total of 4 cycles are needed for the prescription.
- In treating leukemia, metastatic disease, or lymphoma, a dose of 60 to 75 mg/m2 is given in every 21 days.
Adriamycin Side Effects
Using Adriamycin may cause side effects. Some effects can be serious while others are mild and do not necessarily need seeing a doctor unless they have persisted for a long time or they have become intolerable. If serious side effects develop, a patient should see a medical health provider. Serious side effects likely to develop when using Adriamycin are itching, hives, seizures, skin rash, and difficult breathing or swallowing. The less serious side effects are such as;
- Weight gain
- Eye pain
- Hair loss
- Stomach pain
- Sores in throat or mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Increased thirst
- Tingling of hands and feet
- Separation of toenail or fingernail from nail bed
Different medicines, when taken two or more at same time, can cause drug-drug interaction. Doctors may prescribe a combination of medicines even when it is known to cause and interactions, but this is after evaluating the adverse reactions likely to occur and the possible benefits that are derived from such combinations. You should tell your healthcare provider of any drugs or products you are using before you are prescribed Adriamycin. The list below shows drugs that could interact with Adriamycin, though, it is incomplete.