How Do Cardioprotectant Agents Work?

Reviewed on 10/29/2021

How Do Cardioprotectant Agents Work?

Cardioprotectant agents are a class of drugs used to prevent or decrease thickening of the heart muscles caused by doxorubicin (treatment for breast cancer) and similar cancer chemotherapy medications and to decrease damage to the skin and tissues that may be caused by extravasation which occurs when a vesicant drug (anticancer medications, anthracycline) leaks out of the vein into the surrounding tissues of the body.

The only content that belongs to this class is “dexrazoxane” which is only given to women who have already received a certain amount of doxorubicin and who would need continued doxorubicin treatment. It is not used to prevent heart damage in women who are in their initial phase of treatment with doxorubicin.

Cardioprotectant agents are administered as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected intravenously (into a vein), typically over 15 minutes just before each dose of doxorubicin. After extravasation, it is given over one to two hours once a day for three days.

Cardioprotectant agents are cardioprotective and chemoprotective agents that are used to protect the heart from harmful side effects caused by chemotherapy medications.

How Are Cardioprotectant Agents Used?

Cardioprotectant agents are used in treating conditions such as:

  • Doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy
  • Extravasation (when a vesicant drug leaks out of the vein into the surrounding tissues of the body)

What Are Side Effects of Cardioprotectant Agents?

Some of the common side effects include:

Other rare side effects include:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What Are Names of Cardioprotectant Agents?

Generic and brand names of cardioprotectant agents include:


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