Daunoblastin review

Daunoblastin is an anthracycline chemotherapy medication used in the treatment of some cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia and acute lymphatic leukemia.


It is also used for Karposi's sarcoma, an AIDS-related cancer of the skin and mouth that can also spread elsewhere. This medication works as a cytotoxic agent, which prevents cancer cells from reproducing and eventually kills them off. It may be used as part of a cancer treatment plan in combination with other medications.


Daunoblastin is available as daunorubicin hydrochloride and daunorubicin citrate liposome. The liposomal formula is structured such that the medication is contained within lipid (fat) molecules. This formula is able to penetrate body tissue and reach cancer cells easily because of its smaller size and special structure. It also remains in the body for a longer period than daunorubicin citrate and is considered to be less prone to side effects. Daunoblastin's liposomal formula is available as an injection under the brand name DaunoXome in the United States.

This medication is typically prescribed as one part of a treatment plan for acute myeloid leukemia and acute lymphatic leukemia. It has been recently approved as a treatment for the rare Karposi's sarcoma.


To prepare a Daunoblastin dose, a vial is filled with 4 mL of sterile water for injection and slowly turned until the material has been completed dissolved in the water. Each vial can provide 20 mg of Daunoblastin, then the desired dose is drawn using a syringe already containing 10 to 15 mL of 0.9% sodium chloride solution. The solution is then injected in a rapidly flowing 5% dextrose injection or 0.9% sodium chloride solution. Daunoblastin should not be given with other medications, especially heparin.

The dosage of Daunoblastin will vary depending on the patient's condition, age, body surface area and medical history.

For patients under 60 years of age with acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, a dose of 45 mg/m2/day of Daunoblastin IV infusion is given on the first 3 days of the first course of treatment and again on the first 2 days of the succeeding courses. Another medication, cytosine arabinoside, should also be administered in 100 mg/m2/day IV infusion dose each day for 7 days for the first course of treatment and 5 days for the following courses of treatment.

For patients 60 years of age and above, the dose is usually lowered to 30 mg/ m2/day IV infusion on the first 3 days of the initial treatment course and again on the first 2 days of the following courses. Cytosine arabinoside doses remain similar to those for patients below 60 years of age.

The dosage for children also varies depending on the patient's condition, age, body surface area and medical history. For children with lymphocytic leukemia, typically a dose of 25 mg/m2 Daunoblastin IV infusion and vincristine 1.5 mg/m2 should be given every first day of the week along with prednisone 40 mg/m2 PO every day. A complete remission of cancer may be observed after four courses of this treatment. However, if remission remains partial, an additional 2 courses may be administered to facilitate complete remission. For children younger than 2 years of age and patients whose body surface area is below 0.5 m2, it is preached to measure doses of Daunoblastin with respect to weight rather than body surface area.


Nausea and vomiting may be experienced after treatment and can last for 2 days. Hair loss may also be experienced, usually starting 3 to 4 weeks into the treatment. These are common side effects and should not cause alarm.

A dangerous side effect is the lowering of the body's resistance to infections. If you have a fever higher than 38 oC (100.5 oF) or if you are feeling generally unwell, seek immediate medical attention.

Other common side effects include bruising and bleeding, changes in the color of urine and nails, sensitivity to the sun, fatigue and changes in taste.


Daunoblastin should be administered through a vein with other IV fluids, and must not be injected into muscle tissue or just underneath the skin. Do not inject the medication into the spinal cavity as this may cause serious nerve damage. Tell your mendelevium if you observe any redness or experience pain, pruritus or skin edema at or around the site of injection. Though rare, Daunoblastin may increase the risk for cardiovascular problems, which includes heart failure, during or even months or years after completion of treatment.

Daunoblastin has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of daunoblastin

 Molecular formula of daunoblastin is C27H29NO10
 Chemical IUPAC Name is 8-acetyl-10-(4-amino-5-hydroxy-6-methyl-tetrahydropyran-2-yl)oxy-6,8,11-trihydroxy-1-methoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrotetracene-5,12-dione
 Molecular weight is 527.52 g/mol

Generic name: Daunorubicin

Brand name(s): Acetyladriamycin, Anthracyline, Cerubidin, Cerubidine, Daunamycin, Daunarubicinum, Daunomycin, Daunorrubicina, Daunorubicine, Daunorubicinum, Daunoxome, Leukaemomycin C, Ondena, Rubidomycin, Rubomycin C

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