Infusion-Related Reactions


Infusion-related reactions occurred in 11% of DOXIL®-treated patients in clinical trials. Prompt identification and management of infusion-related reactions can help optimize therapy.

Use the tabs below to learn more about managing infusion-related reactions associated with DOXIL® therapy.

  • Identification
  • Management


  • Acute infusion-related reactions consisting of, but not limited to, flushing, shortness of breath, facial swelling, headache, chills, back pain, tightness in the chest or throat, and/or hypotension occurred in 11% of patients with solid tumors treated with DOXIL®.
    • Serious, life-threatening and fatal infusion reactions have been reported
    • Medications/emergency equipment to treat such reactions should be available for immediate use

Identifying Infusion-Related Reactions

Acute infusion-related reactions include, but are not limited to:

  • Flushing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Facial swelling
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Chest pain
  • Back pain
  • Tightness in the chest or throat
  • Fever
  • Tachycardia
  • Pruritus
  • Rash
  • Cyanosis
  • Syncope
  • Bronchospasm
  • Asthma
  • Apnea
  • Hypotension

Prior to administering DOXIL®, counsel patients to alert you immediately if they are experiencing any of the symptoms of acute infusion-related reactions listed above.

Managing Infusion-Related Reactions

The majority of infusion-related events occurred during the first infusion of DOXIL®.

If an infusion-related reaction occurs:

1. Medications to treat anaphylactoid-like infusion reactions, as well as emergency equipment, should
be available.

2. Manage as appropriate (in some patients, the reaction resolved when rate of infusion was slowed).

How to Manage Extravasation

Discontinue DOXIL® for burning or stinging sensation or other evidence indicating perivenous infiltration or extravasation.

Manage confirmed or suspected extravasation as follows:

  • Do not remove the needle until attempts are made to aspirate extravasated fluid
  • Do not flush the line
  • Avoid applying pressure to the site
  • Apply ice to the site intermittently for 15 minutes 4 times a day for 3 days
  • If the extravasation is in an extremity, elevate the extremity