Reviewed on 4/22/2022

What Is Mitoxantrone and How Does It Work?

Mitoxantrone is a prescription medication used for the treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, and prostate cancer.

  • Mitoxantrone is available under the following different brand names: Novantrone

What Are Dosages of Mitoxantrone?

Adult dosage

Injectable solution

  • 2mg/mL

Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

Adult dosage

  • 12 mg/m² short IV (5-15 minutes) infusion every 3 months
  • Not to exceed a lifetime cumulative dose of 140 mg/m²

Acute Nonlymphocytic Leukemia

Adult dosage


  • 12 mg/m²/day IV on days 1-3 with cytarabine 100 mg/m²/day IV continuous infusion on days 1-7  
  • Second induction with the same doses of mitoxantrone for 2 days & cytarabine for 5 days may be given if incomplete antileukemic response & no severe nonhematologic toxicity in the first induction
  • Consolidation: 12mg/m²/day for 2 days, repeat in 4 weeks

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows: 

  • See “Dosages”

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Mitoxantrone?

Common side effects of Mitoxantrone include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • heartburn,
  • stomach pain,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • headache,
  • unusual tiredness,
  • hair loss,
  • heavy menstrual bleeding,
  • missed menstrual periods,
  • runny nose,
  • depressed mood, or
  • blue-green-colored urine or bluish color of the whites of the eyes for a few days after each dose.

Serious side effects of Mitoxantrone include:

  • swelling in the lower legs, rapid weight gain;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats; or
  • shortness of breath.
  • signs of infection--fever, unusual weakness or tiredness, night sweats, unexplained weight loss;
  • unusual bruising or bleeding;
  • bone pain;
  • trouble breathing; or
  • pain, burning, swelling, redness, bruising, or skin changes at the injection site.

Rare side effects of Mitoxantrone include:

  • none 
This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems that may occur as a result of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


What Is Multiple Sclerosis? MS Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis See Slideshow

What Other Drugs Interact with Mitoxantrone?

If your medical doctor is using this medicine to treat your pain, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

  • Mitoxantrone has severe interactions with no other drugs.
  • Mitoxantrone has serious interactions with the following drugs:
    • adenovirus types 4 and 7 live, oral
    • axicabtagene ciloleucel
    • brexucabtagene autoleucel
    • ciltacabtagene autoleucel
    • darolutamide
    • deferiprone
    • idecabtagene vicleucel
    • influenza virus vaccine quadrivalent, adjuvanted
    • influenza virus vaccine trivalent, adjuvanted
    • lasmiditan
    • lisocabtagene maraleucel
    • lonafarnib
    • palifermin
    • ropeginterferon alfa 2b
    • tisagenlecleucel
    • tofacitinib
  • Mitoxantrone has moderate interactions with at least 47 other drugs.
  • Mitoxantrone has minor interactions with the following drugs:
    • ruxolitinib
    • ruxolitinib topical

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker for any drug interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Mitoxantrone?


  • Hypersensitivity

Effects of drug abuse

  • None

Short-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Mitoxantrone?”

Long-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Mitoxantrone?”


  • Not indicated for primary progressive MS
  • Risk of cardiotoxicity & secondary AML
  • Avoid pregnancy
  • If extravasation occurs, stop immediately & restart in another vein
  • Hepatic impairment

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug is available. Positive evidence of human fetal risk
  • Lactation
    • Excreted in breast milk, do not nurse
Medscape. Mitoxantrone.

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