This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

Daunorubicin is an anti-cancer drug containing the active constituent daunorubicin. This chemotherapy medication belongs to the anthracycline class of drugs. It is used in the treatment of leukemia. In leukemia, the white blood cells produced in the bone marrow multiply uncontrolled and abnormally. Leukemia is associated with severe infection, extreme tiredness, and joint pain. It is necessary to inform your doctor if you have an infection, cardiac diseases, mouth ulcers, chickenpox or shingles (viral infection), fever, radiation treatment to the chest, kidney stones, and liver disorders.

Daunorubicin was first approved by the FDA in 1979 for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Since then, Daunorubicin has been approved for additional indications and formulations, including for the treatment of solid tumors and lymphomas. Like many chemotherapy drugs, it can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, and an increased risk of infection due to its effect on the immune system.

Mechanism of Action of undefined

The therapeutic effect of daunorubicin is to inhibit the growth and replication of cancer cells. As a chemotherapy medication, daunorubicin works by binding to DNA and interfering with its replication and transcription, ultimately leading to cell death. Doing so can help shrink tumors, prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body, and potentially cure cancer in some cases.

Uses of undefined

Daunorubicin is primarily used to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. It can also be used to treat other types of cancer, including acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), lymphoma, and solid tumors such as breast and ovarian cancer.

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

Daunorubicin is typically administered as an intravenous (IV) infusion or injection in a hospital or clinical setting by a healthcare provider. The exact dosing and frequency of administration will depend on the specific condition being treated and other individual factors, such as the patient's age, weight, and overall health. If a dose is missed, it's important to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to determine the appropriate course of action. 

Suppose the missed dose is discovered within a few hours of the scheduled time. In that case, your healthcare provider may recommend administering the missed dose as soon as possible while maintaining the usual interval between doses. However, if more than a few hours have passed since the missed dose, your healthcare provider may recommend skipping the missed dose and resuming the regular dosing schedule at the next scheduled time. It's important not to double up on doses to make up for a missed one.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Some of the warning of daunorubicin include bone marrow suppression, which can increase the risk of infection, bleeding, and anemia. It can also cause liver toxicity, cardiac toxicity, and other organ damage. In rare cases, it can cause a potentially fatal condition called tumor lysis syndrome. It increases sensitivity to sunlight and causes sunburn more easily. This medication can also cause birth defects and should not be used during pregnancy.


As Daunorubicin increases the risk of infection so you should avoid exposure to people who have infections, and inform your healthcare provider if you develop any signs of infection, such as fever, chills, or cough. Protect your skin from sunlight by wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen with a high SPF to avoid sunburn pregnancy and breastfeeding should avoid while taking this medication. It's important to use effective contraception during treatment and inform your healthcare provider if you become pregnant.

Side Effects

Common side effects of daunorubicin can include nausea and vomiting, fatigue, hair loss, mouth sores, decreased appetite, increased risk of infection, easy bruising or bleeding, diarrhea or constipation, skin rash or itching, and darkening or reddening of urine. These side effects can be uncomfortable and can have an impact on a patient's quality of life during treatment. In rare cases, it can cause more serious side effects, such as cardiotoxicity, which can lead to heart failure, lung toxicity, which can cause difficulty breathing or lung damage, liver toxicity, which can cause jaundice or liver damage, and allergic reactions, which can cause hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

Word Of Advice

It is important to closely follow your healthcare provider's instructions and guidelines for treatment. This may include attending regular appointments, monitoring for and reporting any side effects or symptoms, and following specific dietary or lifestyle recommendations. Pregnancy and breastfeeding should be avoided. People should avoid grapefruit while taking it. It's also important to take any supportive medications or therapies as prescribed, such as anti-nausea medications or pain management techniques. Remember that chemotherapy can be physically and emotionally challenging, but resources and support are available to help you manage and cope with the experience.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. KD Tripathi, Essentials of Medical Pharmacology, Anticancer drugs, 7th edition, 2013, 867.
  2. Goodman & Gilman’s, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Cytotoxic agents, 12th edition, 2011,1714.
  3. Zentiva Pharma UK Ltd, Electronic medicines compendium (emc), [ Revised on December 2019] [ Accessed on 12th April, 2023],


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice. It is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you can receive this treatment.