mitoxantrone (Novantrone)

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GENERIC NAME: mitoxantrone

BRAND NAME: Novantrone

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Mitoxantrone is a synthetic (man-made) anticancer drug. It kills cancer cells by disrupting the action of deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) in human cells by causing abnormal cross-links and breaks in the DNA. It also interferes with ribonucleic acid (RNA) and inhibits the activity of topoisomerase II, an enzyme that is necessary for repairing damaged DNA. The FDA approved mitoxantrone in December 1987.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes.

PREPARATIONS: Injection: 20/10, 25/12.5, and 30 mg/15 ml

STORAGE: Mitoxantrone should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 25 C (59 F to 77 F). It should not be frozen.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Mitoxantrone is used for treating secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, and patients with pain related to advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

DOSING: Mitoxantrone is given by intravenous infusion. The recommended dose for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is 12 mg/m2 infusion every 3 months. The lifetime cumulative dose is 140 mg/m2. The dose for nonlymphocytic leukemia is 12 mg/m2/day on days 1-3 with cytarabine 100 mg/m2/day on days 1-7. The dose for hormone-refractory prostate cancer is 12 to 14 mg/m2 every 21 days.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Combining mitoxantrone with other drugs that, like mitoxantrone, suppress the immune system leads to severe immune suppression and an increased risk of infections.

PREGNANCY: Mitoxantrone should not be administered to pregnant women due to risk of severe harm to the fetus.

NURSING MOTHERS: Mitoxantrone is excreted in breast milk and should not be used while breastfeeding.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of mitoxantrone are nausea, upper respiratory tract infections, hair loss (alopecia), diarrhea, interruption of menstruation, constipation, inflammation of the mouth (stomatitis). Serious side effects include heart failure, suppression of the immune system, and liver toxicity.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/4/2013



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