Doxil-Doxorubicin Liposomal

What is Doxorubicin Liposomal?

Doxorubicin Liposomal is a pegylated anthracycline chemotherapy medication. Doxorubicin Liposomal can easily be confused with Doxorubicin Conventional, however, they are different in terms of dosing, administration and indication. Doxorubicin Liposomal is used to treat AIDS– related Kaposi sarcoma, multiple myeloma and advanced ovarian cancer. Several non-FDA approved, off-label indications include: metastatic breast cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, advanced uterine sarcoma and salvage treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma. Doxorubicin Liposomal inhibits RNA and DNA synthesis. The pegylation of doxorubicin liposomal helps protect the compound while circulating in the blood and increases the duration of time it can work before being destroyed and eliminated from the body.

How it is administered:

Doxorubicin Liposomal is only administered via intravenous infusion; this is in contrast doxorubicin conventional. Infusion time is usually 1 hour. The first infusion may be longer to establish tolerability. Pre-medications are given prior to the start of infusion to help prevent nausea. Doxorubicin liposomal is not as nauseating as doxorubicin conventional. 

What to expect:

Doxorubicin Liposomal can cause anemia and reduce the body’s ability to fight infections. Prior to initial therapy, baseline heart tests will be performed as this medication can cause damage to the heart tissue. Additionally, doxorubicin liposomal can cause hand-foot syndrome; it is necessary to keep hands and feet well moisturized. Sun sensitivity can also occur; proper sun protection and sunscreen is essential. Other side effects include: fatigue, headache, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, upset stomach, weakness, increased heart rate, depression, acne, elevated blood sugar, trouble swallowing, oral thrush, bleeding and numbness in the extremities. Typically, medications to have on hand at home will be prescribed to help manage any nausea that may develop in the days following treatment. Laboratory tests will be performed routinely throughout the course of therapy to help manage and monitor the development of these side effects.