Mitoxantrone is used on its own or together with other medicine to treat certain types of cancer such as advanced stage breast cancer (tumour that has spread to other parts of the body), and cancer of the lymph glands (bean-shaped structure which is part of the body's immune system, helping the body to fight infection) or blood (e.g. leukaemia). It may also be used to treat pain caused by prostate cancer.
This medicine may also be used to treat multiple sclerosis (disease affecting the brain and/or spinal cord)
Mitoxantrone may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Mitoxantrone injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein) via infusion (drip). It is delivered into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
This medicine should not be administered subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intra-arterially, or intrathecally.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
The dose and schedule of administration of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Mitoxantrone.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection with your doctor, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- bone marrow depression (a condition in which the blood cells are low) associated with previous cancer or radiation treatments
- severe liver disease
as Mitoxantrone may not be suitable for you.
Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while on Mitoxantrone therapy, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child.
Men should not father a child while being treated with this medicine. Both men and women must use proven birth control methods during Mitoxantrone therapy and for a certain period of time after stopping the treatment. You may wish to discuss other reliable methods of birth control with your doctor.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease
- liver disease
- kidney disease
Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. Do not receive any vaccinations without first asking your doctor.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Pregnancy tests must be done before treatment initiation.
- Regular monitoring of heart function may also be needed. Your doctor may ask you to undergo a test to check your heart’s electrical activity (electrocardiogram).
- Routine tests (e.g. blood count, liver function test) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
Mitoxantrone may cause confusion and tiredness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side-effects include any of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach pain, mouth sore, loss of appetite, hair loss, headache, fever, and injection site reaction (e.g. pain, redness, swelling).
Your urine may look slightly blue-green in colour. This is normal while you are being treated with this medicine. It may also cause your saliva, sweat, whites of your eyes, and skin to change to blue-green in colour. This is harmless, do not be alarmed.
This medicine may cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Inform your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Inform your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Avoid vaccinations during treatment or 3 months after treatment with Mitoxantrone.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking other medicines for cancer.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired tablets to the clinic, hospital, or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.