Brand name: Novantrone ®
Other names: DHAD, Mitoxantrone
Novantrone is available
by prescription only
Indications: Novantrone is, often in combination
with other antineoplastic drugs, used to treat various cancers, mainly:
cancer of lymph
types of leukemia (cancer of white blood cells)
combination with low doses of oral corticosteroids.
Novantrone is also used to treat
Multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition to the
conditions mentioned in the article, Novantrone can be prescribed for other health problems. Talk to your doctor
or pharmacist for more information.
Novantrone is given by
injection into a vein
Dosage: Novantrone is used in the treatment of
a variety of diseases. The recommended dosage varies from one patient to another and the condition being
treated. However, If you are taking other drugs, you may receive a lower dose. In addition, your body's reaction
to the drug can require your oncologist to modify the dosage. Based on these criteria, your oncologist will
recommend the dosage most capable of combating the cancer. It is very important that you complete as indicated
by your health care provider or pharmacist; misusing of Novantrone can cause serious health problems.
Novantrone is injected into a vein through an intravenous site on the skin. In the treatment of multiple
sclerosis (MS), Novantrone is administered once every 3 months for 2 to 3 years; the total doses are usually 8
to 12. When Novantrone is used to treat
cancer, the drug is given once every 21 days. In the case of leukemia and other cancers, your doctor will
recommend a dosage based on your condition and how your body reacts to the therapy.
Novantrone should be administered under the supervision of an oncologist or a physician having experience in
chemotherapy medications. The medication must be administered with care, in a hospital or health center that has
equipment available for its preparation and administration.
Overdose: As with any drug, Novantrone overdose
can be dangerous. Even at normal dose, Novantrone can severely damage the bone marrow, and cause a decrease in
white blood cells and platelets. Novantrone may also cause kidney damage and /or serious heart problems, even
years after the treatment has ended. In fragile patients, Novantrone can lead to death. Although rare,
Novantrone increase the risk for developing leukemia in some patients. The risk is higher when the drug is taken
in high dose or in combination with other chemotherapy medications.
adverse effects vary from one patient to another; no physician can tell how your body is going to react to
Novantrone. Therefore, to reduce the risk of complications, avoid anything that might weaken your immune system
and the risk of infection. During the treatment, keep all appointments with your doctor. Contact your doctor
immediately if you experience any symptom that indicates complications (see side effects below).
the fact that
is given in hospital, it is basically difficult for you to miss any dose if you are present in the hospital for the
treatment. Therefore, it is very important to keep all appointments with your
. If for some reasons you cannot go to the hospital, contact your oncologist before the date scheduled for the
Novantrone is contraindicated in the following conditions :
to Novantrone or any of its ingredients
blood cells count
- having a
very poor health
- Past or
present administration of some chemotherapy drugs.
Mechanism of action (MOA): Novantrone causes cancer cells to die
by acting on their DNA, thus interrupting their growth and reproduction.
Interactions: talk to your doctor before taking
vitamins, nutritional supplements or prescription/ non prescription medications. The following drugs can alter
the effects of Novantrone or increase the risk of developing side effects:
- Interferons (Actimmune, Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif,…)
- Aids/HIV medications
such as didanosine (Videx) and stavudine (Zerit)
- Live vaccins
- Ganciclovir, an antiviral drug
- Azathioprine, an immune system inhibitor
- Barbiturates, depressant drug that causes relaxation and
, a drug
used to inhibit the production of
acid in the stomach
medication used to treat pain of
(Cytoxan), a medication of the
alkylating agent family used to treat a variety of cancers
Side effects: Novantrone not only attack
cells but also non malignant cells, which
often leads to adverse effects in most patients; most common Novantrone side effects include:
discoloration of urine
in the mouth and lips
whites of the eyes
If the side
effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor immediately if you
experience any of these symptoms:
bleeding or bruising
red or purple dots on the skin
signs: hives, itching, rash, etc.
of the skin or eyes
Redness, pain, swelling, burning, or blue discoloration at the site where the injection was given.