Ovarian Cancer Home > Doxil Side Effects

Commonly reported side effects of Doxil include nausea, vomiting, anemia, and low blood platelets. Doxil can also discolor the urine, making it look like there is blood in your urine. However, this is a normal reaction to the medication. If you experience stinging during the IV infusion, difficulty breathing, or facial swelling, notify your healthcare provider right away.

An Introduction to Doxil Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Doxil® (liposomal doxorubicin). As is common with chemotherapy medications, many of the side effects of Doxil are quite serious.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with this drug. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Doxil side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Doxil

Doxil has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people given the drug were documented. These studies did not compare Doxil to a placebo, since it would have been unethical to give people placebo chemotherapy.
The prescribing information for Doxil contains side effect information taken from studies that used the drug alone or in combination with other chemotherapy medications. To help distinguish between side effects caused by Doxil and side effects probably caused by the other medications, the following information was taken only from studies that used Doxil alone (without combining it with other chemotherapy medications).
The most common adverse reactions to Doxil seen in clinical trials included:
  • Low blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) -- in up to 60.9 percent of people
  • Anemia -- up to 50.8 percent
  • Low levels of a certain type of white blood cell known as neutrophils (neutropenia) -- up to 48.9 percent
  • Hand-foot syndrome (pain, redness, and swelling of the palms and soles) -- up to 50.6 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 46 percent
  • Mouth sores -- up to 41.4 percent
  • Weakness -- up to 40.2 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 32.6 percent
  • Rash -- up to 28.5 percent.
Other common problems (occurring in 1 to 22 percent of people) included but were not limited to:
Doxil can cause discoloration of the urine, which may look like blood in your urine. However, this is normal and is not dangerous.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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