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Serious Side Effects of Doxorubicin

Some side effects with doxorubicin, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include, but are not limited to:
 
  • Signs of congestive heart failure, including difficulty breathing and swelling or water retention
  • An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Burning or stinging during the injection (as this may be a sign that the medication is leaking from your vein, which is very dangerous)
  • Seizures
  • Signs of an infection, such as fever or chills (see Chemotherapy and Infections)
  • Severe mouth sores (see Mouth and Gum Problems During Chemotherapy)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including an unexplained rash, hives, itching, and unexplained swelling.
     

Final Thoughts on Side Effects of Doxorubicin

It is possible that you may experience some or none of the doxorubicin side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have side effects from a medicine that you have never tried. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while taking doxorubicin. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you develop something that "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effect of doxorubicin, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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