Valrubicin is used to treat bladder cancer. The usual treatment for bladder cancer is surgery. However, if you and your doctor decide that the risk of surgery is greater than its benefit or that surgery may be delayed, this medication may be used as part of your treatment.
This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as anthracyclines and works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
This medication may not cure your cancer. Delaying surgery could lead to a more serious illness (metastatic cancer). Discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
This medication is given by placement into the bladder as directed by your doctor. Do not give by injection into a vein or muscle or under the skin. After this medication is placed through a tube (catheter), it is usually left in the bladder for 2 hours, then released by urinating. This drug is usually used once weekly for 6 weeks or as directed by your doctor.
Drink plenty of fluids after each treatment with this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Doing so helps clear it from your body and decrease side effects.
Bladder irritation, with symptoms such as pain, spasm, and frequent urge to urinate, usually occurs. This medication usually will cause your urine to turn a reddish color. This is a normal, harmless effect of the drug and should not be mistaken for blood in your urine. If any of these effects persist or worsen after 24 hours, contact your doctor right away.
Infrequent side effects include nausea, abdominal/stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, weakness, dizziness, or back pain. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: bloody urine, signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills), unusual tiredness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), trouble breathing, severe dizziness.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using valrubicin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other anthracyclines (e.g., doxorubicin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as polyoxyethylated castor oil), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: small bladder size or other bladder problems (e.g., perforation, incontinence), current urinary infection/symptoms of bladder irritation (including pain, spasm, frequent urge to urinate).
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away. To avoid pregnancy, both males and females using this drug should use reliable form(s) of birth control (e.g., birth control pills, condoms) during treatment. Consult your doctor for details and to discuss effective forms of birth control.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., biopsy, cystoscopy, urine cytology) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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