What is mitoxantrone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

Is mitoxantrone-injection available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for mitoxantrone?


What are the side effects of mitoxantrone?

The most common side effects of mitoxantrone are:

Other important side effects include

What is the dosage for mitoxantrone?

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.

Which drugs or supplements interact with mitoxantrone?

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

Is mitoxantrone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

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

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

What else should I know about mitoxantrone?

What preparations of mitoxantrone are available?

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

How should I keep mitoxantrone stored?

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


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Mitoxantrone (Novantrone) is an injection medication prescribed to treat secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, and individuals with pain that is related to advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to administering this medication.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/26/2019
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