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Generic Name

Mitoxantrone is given as an intravenous (IV) injection.

How It Works

Mitoxantrone belongs to a group of medicines that interfere with the growth of the cancer cells. It is used to treat some kinds of cancer.

Why It Is Used

Mitoxantrone is used to treat acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). It may also be used to treat other kinds of cancer. Mitoxantrone is also used to treat multiple sclerosis.

How Well It Works

Mitoxantrone is an effective treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and acute myelogenous leukemia. It also reduces the frequency of relapses of multiple sclerosis.

Side Effects

Side effects of mitoxantrone are common and can include:

  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Hair loss.
  • Damage to the muscle of the heart. This can be serious.
  • Increased risk of infections, especially urinary tract infections.
  • Changes in a woman's menstrual cycle.
  • Mouth sores (stomatitis).
  • Diarrhea or constipation.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Mitoxantrone should be administered only under the supervision of a medical oncologist, hematologist, or neurologist.

Mitoxantrone may make worse any heart problems that you already have. Before you take this medicine, be sure to talk with your doctor about any heart problems you have.

Mitoxantrone may cause serious, even fatal, heart damage in some people. Frequent tests are needed to monitor heart function while taking this medicine.

Mitoxantrone can affect your ability to have children. You may not be able to become pregnant or father a child after taking mitoxantrone. Discuss fertility with your doctor before starting treatment with this drug.

Mitoxantrone can cause birth defects. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or father a child while you are taking it.

Women who take this medicine may experience menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
Last Revised February 9, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.