Mitoxantrone® (Mitoxantrone Hydrochloride)
Information in this fact sheet is meant to assist you in making decisions about your treatment. Always make medication decisions in consultation with your healthcare team.
What is Mitoxantrone® used for?
Mitoxantrone® (sometimes spelt mitozantrone) is a chemotherapy drug for the treatment of androgen independent (hormone refractory) metastatic prostate cancer.
Mitoxantrone® belongs to a group of medicines called antineoplastic or cytotoxic medicines. You may also hear these being called chemotherapy medicines.
Mitoxantrone® is thought to work by interfering with the growth of cancer cells, which slows their growth and destroys them. The growth of normal cells in other parts of your body may also be affected.
Your doctor may have prescribed this medicine for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why DBLTM Mitoxantrone Hydrochloride Injection Concentrate® has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription. DBLTM Mitoxantrone Hydrochloride Injection Concentrate® is not recommended for use in children as there is not enough information on its effects in children.
What does Mitoxantrone® look like?
Mitoxantrone® is a dark blue fluid
How is Mitoxantrone® given?
Mitoxantrone® is delivered as an infusion (drip) into your veins, over 3 to 5 minutes.
Mitoxantrone® must only be given by a doctor or nurse.
Mitoxantrone® is usually given once every 21 days, or it may be given over 2 to 5 days, depending on your condition. This is called ‘one cycle’ of chemotherapy. Your doctor will decide how many of these cycles you will need. The time between each dose of Mitoxantrone® may change depending on the results of your blood tests.
What are the common side effects?
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are being given DBLTM Mitoxantrone® Hydrochloride Injection Concentrate.
Like other medicines that treat cancer, Mitoxantrone® may have unwanted side effects. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not.
You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
You may notice a blue/green colour in your urine for up to 24 hours after you have been given Mitoxantrone®.
You may also notice a blue/green colour around the whites of your eyes. DO NOT panic – this is quite normal and is nothing to be concerned about.
Treatment with Mitoxantrone® causes the breakdown of tumour cells and this may affect how your liver and kidneys work. Your doctor will arrange regular blood tests to detect any changes.
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you notice any of the following side effects and they worry you.
More common side effects:
- nausea or vomiting
- temporary hair loss
- mouth ulcers.
Most of the side effects of Mitoxantrone® are mild and do not last long.
What are the less common side effects?
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist immediately:
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- unusual tiredness after light exercise such as walking
- chest pain or fast heart rate
- swelling of the feet or legs.
These are serious side effects and may be signs that Mitoxantrone® is affecting the way your heart works. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- signs of an infection (e.g. fever, chills, sore throat, cough)
- soreness or ulceration of the mouth and/or back passage
- unusual bleeding or bruising (including blood in your stools or urine)
- tiredness or weakness.
These are very serious side effects and may mean the number of blood cells in your body is very low. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation until the number of blood cells returns to normal.
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients. Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
The side effects of Mitoxantrone® may take some time to occur. Therefore, even after you have finished your treatment, you should tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the side effects listed in this section.
eviQ 2013, Prostate Metastatic Mitozantrone® and Prednisolone– Full view, Cancer Institute of NSW, 2nd April 2013, viewed 3rd July 2013.
Macmillan 2011, Mitoxantrone, Macmillan Cancer Support 1st Dec 2011, viewed 3rd July 2013.
TGA Consumer Medical Information (CMI), May 2012, DBLTM Mitoxantrone® Hydrochloride Injection Concentrate, Therapeutic Goods Administration May 2012, Canberra, viewed 3rd July 2013.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia develops materials based on best available evidence and takes advice from recognised experts in the field in developing such resource; however it cannot guarantee and assumes no legal responsibility for the currency or completeness of the information.