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Info about Caelyx

Brand Name(s): Caelyx, Doxil, Evacet

Generic Name Doxorubicin Liposomal Injection

What is liposomal doxorubicin injection?

LIPOSOMAL DOXORUBICIN (Doxil®) is a type of cancer chemotherapy used for treating breast cancer, Kaposi's sarcoma, ovarian cancer and other types of cancer. Doxorubicin interferes with the growth of rapidly growing cells, like cancer cells, and eventually causes cell death. Doxorubicin is used alone or in combination with other cancer chemotherapy agents. Liposomal doxorubicin is a special form of doxorubicin which may have less heart side effects than regular doxorubicin injections. Generic liposomal doxorubicin injections are not available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive liposomal doxorubicin?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • angina
  • bleeding problems
  • blood disorders
  • hypertension
  • heart disease, including heart failure and irregular heartbeat
  • an active infection
  • liver disease
  • previous chemotherapy with daunorubicin, doxorubicin, epirubicin, idarubicin, or mitoxantrone
  • previous radiation therapy
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to doxorubicin, other chemotherapy agents, soybeans, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Liposomal doxorubicin infused into a vein. It is usually given in a hospital or clinic setting by a trained health-care professional. If you notice pain, swelling, burning or any unusual feeling around the site of your injection, tell your health care professional immediately. Also, tell your health care professional, if you have flushing, fever, chills, shortness of breath back pain or other unusual feelings during the infusion. There may be several weeks between doses.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss a dose. Let your prescriber or health care professional know if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What drug(s) may interact with liposomal doxorubicin?

  • other chemotherapy agents may increase the side effects seen with liposomal doxorubicin
  • vaccines

Ask your prescriber or health care professional about other medicines which may increase the effect of doxorubicin.

Talk to your prescriber or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:

  • aspirin
  • acetaminophen
  • ibuprofen
  • ketoprofen
  • naproxen

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also, tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from receiving liposomal doxorubicin?

The side effects you may experience with liposomal doxorubicin therapy depend upon the dose, other types of chemotherapy or radiation therapy given, and the disease being treated. Not all of these effects occur in all patients. Discuss any concerns or questions with your prescriber or health care professional.

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

Rare or uncommon:

  • difficulty breathing, wheezing
  • fast or irregular heartbeat


  • back pain, chills, facial flusing, fever, headache, tightness in the chest or throat during the infusion
  • low blood counts - liposomal doxorubicin may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
  • irregular heartbeat, palpitations, chest pain
  • lower back pain
  • mouth or throat ulcers or sores
  • pain, redness, swelling or irritation at the injection site
  • redness, swelling or sores in the mouth
  • signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, blood in the urine, black tarry stools
  • signs of decreased red blood cells - unusual tiredness or weakness
  • signs of hand-foot syndrome - tingling or burning, redness, flaking, swelling, small blisters, or small sores on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet
  • signs of infection - fever, cough, chills, or sore throat
  • swelling of legs or ankles
  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • hair loss
  • heartburn
  • nail discoloration or damage
  • nausea
  • red color in urine (may appear for 1 to 2 days after treatment)
  • red or watery eyes

What should I watch for while taking doxorubicin?

Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood checks.

Liposomal doxorubicin may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon because doxorubicin affects good cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects as above, but continue your course of medicine even though you feel ill, unless your prescriber or health care professional tells you to stop.

Liposomal doxorubicin will decrease your body's ability to fight infections. Call your prescriber or health care professional if you have a fever (100.5 °F or higher), chills, sore throat or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat these symptoms yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick. Liposomal doxorubicin may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your prescriber or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding. Be careful not to cut, bruise or injure yourself because you may get an infection and bleed more than usual.

Avoid taking aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol®), ibuprofen (Advil®), ketoprofen (Orudis® KT), or naproxen (Aleve®) products as these may mask a fever, unless instructed to by your prescriber or health care professional.

Call your prescriber or health care professional if you get diarrhea. Do not treat yourself. Some diarrhea medicine will make the diarrhea worse.

Avoid hot showers or baths, steam baths or hot tubs 24 before and for 72 hours after treatment with liposomal doxirubicin. This may help decrease the occurance of certain skin reactions.

If you develop mouth sores or a severe sore throat, call your prescriber or health care professional. Avoid spicy or acidic foods (such as peppers or grapefruit juice).

Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick while receiving liposomal doxorubicin because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you received doxorubicin.

Men and women of childbearing age should use effective birth control methods during doxorubicin treatment. There is a risk of birth defects if a woman becomes pregnant and is being treated with doxorubicin. Women should not become pregnant while being treated with doxorubicin or if their partner is being treated with doxorubicin.

Where can I keep my medicine?

You will receive this medicine at a clinic or hospital. You will not have to take this medicine at home.

(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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