Valrubicin (Valstar)

The basics

Valrubicin (brand name- Valstar) solution is an FDA-approved treatment for bladder cancer (carcinoma in situ; CIS). However, only about 1 out of 5 patients respond to treatment with valrubicin and delaying bladder surgery may lead to the spread of bladder cancer which may be life-threatening.

Valrubicin is an anthracycline antibiotic that is only useful in cancer chemotherapy. It slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body.

Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about Valrubicin.

How should I take valrubicin (Valstar)?

Valrubicin Intravesical

Valrubicin comes as a solution (liquid) to be injected slowly through a catheter (small flexible plastic tube) into your bladder while you are lying down. A doctor or a health care provider will give Valrubicin solution in a medical office, hospital, or clinic after warming it to room temperature without heating.

You may have symptoms of an irritable bladder during or shortly after treatment with valrubicin solution such as a sudden need to urinate or leaking of urine. If any valrubicin solution leaks out of the bladder and gets on your skin, clean the area with soap and water. Also, clean spills on the floor with undiluted bleach. Drink plenty of fluids after receiving your treatment with valrubicin.

Do not stop taking treatment without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of valrubicin (Valstar)?

Common side effects

Serious side effects

  • red colored urine occurring more than 24 hours after treatment
  • painful urination occurring more than 24 hours after treatment
  • blood in urine

Valrubicin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving the valrubicin solution

  • tell your doctor about your allergies.
  • tell your doctor about other intakes.
  • tell your doctor if you have or ever had any other disease, treatment or symptom.
  • your doctor will look at your bladder before giving valrubicin solution to see if you have a hole in your bladder or a weak bladder wall. If you have these problems, your treatment must wait until your bladder has healed.

While you are on Valrubicin solution

  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you or your partner become pregnant while using valrubicin, call your doctor.
  • tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with Valrubicin

I forgot a dose. What should I do?

If you miss an appointment to receive a dose of valrubicin, call your doctor right away.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

How should I safely store and dispose of valrubicin?

This medication will be stored at your doctor’s office or clinic.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Brand names

  • Valstar®

Last Revised- 12/26/2023, FDA updated- 06/30/2022, SG

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DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

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