How Liposomal Doxorubicin Works and What to Discuss With Your Doctor

Important Information for Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving liposomal doxorubicin if you have:
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF), an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia), or other heart problems
  • A history of low levels of white blood cells in the blood (known medically as neutropenia)
  • Any infection
  • Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Had radiation
  • Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Liposomal Doxorubicin to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)

How Does Liposomal Doxorubicin Work?

Liposomal doxorubicin is part of a group of medications called anthracyclines. Anthracyclines kill cells (including cancer cells and normal cells) by working in several ways. Liposomal doxorubicin binds to DNA in cells, changing the shape of the DNA and causing other problems with the DNA. The medication can damage the membranes (outer coating) of cells and may damage other parts of cells as well.
While liposomal doxorubicin can kill both healthy and cancerous cells, it has a greater effect on cells that are multiplying rapidly. In general, cancer cells multiply more rapidly than healthy cells, and are therefore more affected by liposomal doxorubicin.
Liposomal doxorubicin is a pegylated liposomal formulation of doxorubicin. This means that the drug molecules are trapped within liposomes (tiny fatty bubbles). This changes how the medication is distributed throughout the body and also increases the time the drug lasts in the body. It is thought that liposomal doxorubicin is less toxic to heart tissues but more toxic to skin tissues, compared to nonliposomal doxorubicin.
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Liposomal Doxorubicin Information

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