Brand name: Adriamycin
Chemical name: Doxorubicin
How it works: Anthracyclines kill cancer cells by damaging their genes and interfering with their reproduction.
Uses: Adriamycin usually is given in combination with other chemotherapy medicines. It's typically used:
- after surgery to reduce the risk of early-stage breast cancer coming back
- before surgery to shrink large advanced-stage breast cancer tumors
- to treat advanced-stage breast cancer
How it's given: Adriamycin is given intravenously.
Additional information: Adriamycin can have a toxic effect on the heart. You should be tested for heart problems before starting to take Adriamycin and should be continuously monitored for developing problems during treatment.
- low white blood cell count
- increased risk of bleeding from low platelet count
- appetite changes
- nail changes
- hair loss
- mouth sores
- heart problems
- hand-foot syndrome
- irregular periods -- this can include temporary cessation (usually resume after medication is completed) or permanent cessation of menstrual periods depending on your age and other factors