What are the side effects of Novantrone?
Novantrone® (mitoxantrone) is an antineoplastic drug used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as certain cancers. MS causes nerve damage which can lead to weakness, numbness, and loss of bodily control and function. Novantrone® works by shutting down the immune system temporarily. This leads to a decrease in the number of relapses and the time between relapses. While this drug can provide relief for MS patients, there is no actual cure for multiple sclerosis. For cancer treatment, Novantrone® interferes with the growth of cancer cells leading to their destruction.
Potential Novantrone® complications and side effects
Unfortunately, Novantrone® may
also destroy other body cells since it is not specific, resulting in an increased risk for
serious side. Novantrone® should only be administered under the care of qualified health care
professionals. Cardiac (heart) evaluations should be done prior to each dose of Novantrone® due
to the serious cardiac risks of taking this drug. Other side effects can include hair loss,
diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, abnormal periods, urinary tract infection, black stools,
cough, shortness of breath, mouth sores, pain and congestion. Novantrone® can also turn the
urine and whites of the eyes a blue-green color for a few days following treatment. Be sure to
talk to your doctor if your side effects become bothersome or severe. Rare, but very serious
side effects include cardiac toxicity such as severe congestive heart failure (CHF), cancers
such as secondary acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), and liver toxicity. This list is not
all-inclusive, so be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist regarding any questions you may
have about any drug like Novantrone®.
Read an In-Depth report on Multiple Sclerosis in our Health Encyclopedia.
If you're looking for more specific answers to specific questions, ask a Walgreens pharmacist here.