Cytotoxic Antibiotics

These antibiotics interfere with DNA and or RNA synthesis.

Examples include: bleomycin, dactinomycin, dau-norubicin, doxorubicin, epirubicin (and the related mitozantrone), idarubicin, plicamycin (mithra-mycin), mitomycin and streptozotocin (most often used to treat islet-cell pancreatic tumours).

Cytotoxic antibiotics depress the bone marrow, cause gastrointestinal upsets and stomatitis, alopecia, cardiomyopathy (daunorubicin and doxorubicin) and pulmonary fibrosis and skin rashes (bleomycin). Some of these effects are dose-dependent, for example, doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. Others may be potentiated by concomitant use of radiotherapy.

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