Reproduced, with permission, from the 1989-2008 United State Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc. Printed in 7/2017 by
the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority, Department of Nursing, Madison, WI. Your health care
team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any questions.
If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical advice.
This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are
different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have
an emergency, please call 911. Printed in 7/2017 by the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority,
Department of Nursing, Madison, WI. HF#5555
For the Treatment of Cancer
What it is
Doxorubicin liposomal (Doxil®) is chemotherapy
given for the treatment of cancer.
How it is given
It is infused into a vein (IV)
Common side effects
ξ Reduced blood counts (white blood cells,
red blood cells, and platelets) occur 1-2
weeks after treatment. This can put you at
increased risk of infection and bleeding. It
may also cause fatigue.
ξ Hand foot syndrome: tingling, burning,
redness, flaking, swelling, small blisters
or small sores on the palms of hands or
soles of feet.
ξ Mouth sores.
Less common side effects
ξ Nausea and vomiting
ξ Diarrhea or constipation
ξ Generalized weakness
ξ Hair loss. Hair most often grows back,
but may be different in texture or color.
ξ Changes in the muscle of the heart. Tests
are done before, during, and/or after
treatment as needed to check heart
ξ Changes in urine color (pink, red, or
orange color). This may occur up to 48
hours after the treatment is given.
ξ Skin changes, skin may darken at the site
of any previous radiation therapy, and nail
beds may darken or become discolored
ξ Flu-like symptoms
ξ Tissue irritation if the drug leaks out of
ξ Poor appetite and weight loss
ξ Acid reflux
Rare side effects
ξ An allergic reaction, which may include
fever, chills, trouble breathing, wheezing,
chest tightness, back pain, flushing,
and/or itchy skin rash. Report any of
these symptoms right away to your
nurse or doctor.
When to call your doctor
ξ Fever of 100.4 θ or greater
ξ The site of the injection becomes red,
tender and/or swollen
ξ Unusual bleeding or bruising, or blood in
your stool or urine
ξ Swelling in your legs, ankles or feet
ξ Nausea, vomiting, or mouth sores,
especially if you have trouble eating or
taking your medicines
ξ Rapid or irregular heart rate
ξ Tingling, burning, redness, flaking,
swelling, small blisters, or small sores on
the palms of hands or soles of feet
ξ Tell the person giving the drug if you feel any
burning, pain, or stinging at the injection site
while the drug is being given.