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Daunorubicin is used with other chemotherapy drugs to treat a certain type of acute myeloid leukemia (AML; a type of cancer of the white blood cells). Daunorubicin is also used with other chemotherapy drugs to treat a certain type of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL; a type of cancer of the white blood cells). Daunorubicin is in a class of medications called anthracyclines. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.
Daunorubicin comes as a solution (liquid) or as a powder to be mixed with liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility along with other chemotherapy medications. When daunorubicin is used to treat AML, it is usually injected once a day on certain days of your treatment period. When daunorubicin is used to treat ALL, it is usually injected once a week. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.IMPORTANT WARNING:
Daunorubicin injection must be given in a hospital or medical facility under the supervision of a doctor who is experienced in giving chemotherapy medications for cancer.
Daunorubicin may cause serious or life-threatening heart problems at any time during your treatment or months to years after your treatment has ended. Your doctor will order tests before and during your treatment to see if your heart is working well enough for you to safely receive daunorubicin. These tests may include an electrocardiogram (ECG; test that records the electrical activity of the heart) and an echocardiogram (test that uses sound waves to measure your heart's ability to pump blood). Your doctor may tell you that you should not receive this medication if the tests show your heart's ability to pump blood has decreased. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any type of heart disease or radiation (x-ray) therapy to the chest area. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or have ever received certain cancer chemotherapy medications such as doxorubicin (Doxil), epirubicin (Ellence), idarubicin (Idamycin), or mitoxantrone (Novantrone), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), or trastuzumab. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: shortness of breath; difficulty breathing; swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or lower legs; or fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat.
Daunorubicin can cause a severe decrease in the number of blood cells in your bone marrow. This may cause certain symptoms and may increase the risk that you will develop a serious infection or bleeding. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fever, sore throat, ongoing cough and congestion, or other signs of infection; unusual bleeding or bruising.