Dexrazoxane (Generic Name)

Other Names: Zinecard®, Totect® 

About this drug

Dexrazoxane is used to protect your heart when you get the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin. It is also used to protect tissue injury due to certain chemotherapy infusion problems. Dexrazoxane is given in the vein (IV).

Possible side effects (most common)

  • Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding. This drug may add to the bone marrow depression caused by the chemotherapy drugs.
  • Fever
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting)
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea)
  • Changes in your liver function. Your doctor will check your liver function as needed.
  • Generalized weakness and discomfort (aches or pains)
  • Swelling of hands, legs, ankles and/or feet
  • Feeling tired
  • Headaches
  • Hair loss: Most often hair loss is temporary; your hair should grow back when treatment is done.
  • Skin and tissue irritation may involve redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site. This occurs if the drug leaks out of the vein and into nearby tissue.

Treating side effects

  • Ask your doctor for medicines to stop or lessen nausea, throwing up, loose bowel movements, and headaches.
  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids every day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • While you are getting this drug, tell your nurse right away if you have any pain, redness, or swelling at the site of the IV infusion

Food and drug interactions

There are no known interactions of dexrazoxane with food. This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Temperature of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) 4 or more times a day or loose bowel movements with weakness or feeling lightheaded
  • Nausea that stops you from eating and drinking
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:

  • Nausea that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Extreme tiredness or weakness that interferes with normal activities
  • Swelling of legs, ankles, or feet
  • Headache that does not go away

Reproductive concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.
    Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.
  • Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk.  For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

Revised July 2014

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