Leukemia Home > What Is Mitoxantrone Used For?

If you have a certain type of multiple sclerosis, prostate cancer, or leukemia, you may receive mitoxantrone. This prescription drug works by preventing DNA from dividing and multiplying correctly, which can cause certain cells to die. Mitoxantrone is approved for use in adults only; however, it should be used with caution in older adults.


An Overview of Uses for Mitoxantrone

Mitoxantrone (Novantrone®) is a prescription antineoplastic (anticancer) medication. It is approved for use alone or in combination with other medicines to treat the following conditions:

Mitoxantrone Use for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). In MS, the body's immune system attacks myelin, the protective covering that insulates nerve cell fibers. In addition, the nerves themselves may become damaged.
Myelin facilitates the smooth, high-speed transmission of electrochemical messages between the brain, the spinal cord, and the rest of the body. When myelin and nerves are damaged, the transmission of messages is slowed or blocked, leading to the primary symptoms of the disease. The actual symptoms of MS can vary from person to person, depending on the extent and location of the nerve and myelin damage.
(Click Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis to learn more.)
MS can generally be categorized into one of four main types, based on how the disease progresses. These four types include:
  • Relapsing-remitting, which is characterized by periods of relapse (when symptoms are worse) alternating with periods of remission (periods of recovery)
  • Primary-progressive, which is characterized by a gradual decline in function, with no distinct periods of remission
  • Secondary-progressive, which begins with a relapsing-remitting course followed later by a primary-progressive course
  • Progressive-relapsing, in which the disease becomes progressively worse, with acute attacks flaring up along the way.
(Click Types of Multiple Sclerosis to learn more about these four patterns of disease progression.)
Mitoxantrone is approved to reduce disability and the frequency of relapses in people with secondary-progressive, progressive-relapsing, or relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. It is not approved for use in people with primary-progressive forms of MS.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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