Mitoxantrone works by damaging DNA. It does this by causing DNA strands to "cross-link" and to break. Cross-linking occurs when the strands bind to each other and become linked. The linked strands are unable to uncoil and separate, which is necessary for the DNA to make copies of itself. Mitoxantrone also blocks the action of an enzyme that helps repair damaged DNA.
When DNA is damaged and cannot make copies of itself, cells cannot divide and multiply. This causes the cells to die. Mitoxantrone can cause cell death in cells that are rapidly multiplying, and in those that are not multiplying. In general, cancer cells multiply more rapidly than healthy cells.
Mitoxantrone also prevents B-cells, T-cells, and macrophages from rapidly multiplying. These cells are thought to be involved in the immune response that causes the attack on myelin in people with MS.
Can Children Use It?
Mitoxantrone has not been approved for use in children, as it has not been fully studied in this age group (usually defined as individuals younger than 18 years old). Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medication in your child.
Is It Safe for Older Adults to Use Mitoxantrone?
Mitoxantrone can be used in older adults. However, clinical studies of the drug have not sufficiently examined whether older adults respond to or tolerate the medicine any differently than younger age groups. Because they are more likely to have other medical conditions that may increase their sensitivity to mitoxantrone, this medicine should generally be used with caution in older individuals.
What About Off-Label Mitoxantrone Uses?
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medicine for treating something other than the conditions discussed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. Possible off-label uses of mitoxantrone include the treatment of:
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click