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Regimen Information

For AC, including Side Effects


Drugs in this Regimen:

For the treatment of Breast Cancer

How AC chemotherapy is given and possible side effects.

AC for the treatment of Breast Cancer

AC is the acronym for a chemotherapy regimen used in the treatment of breast cancer. Drugs included in the AC combination:



= Doxorubicin Hydrochloride (Adriamycin)


= Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)

Chemotherapy is often given as a combination of drugs. Combinations usually work better than single drugs because different drugs kill cancer cells in different ways.


  • Anemia

  • Infection

  • Mouth Sores

  • Nausea & Vomiting

  • Appetite Loss

  • Alopecia or Hair Loss

For more information, see the 'Expert Resources' tab below.

Community Responses

Often, the most helpful information regarding treatment side effects comes not from clinical brochures, but rather from other patients like you. We've collected the most helpful community resources to help you prepare for the side effects and coping tips for your chemotherapy regimen.

What side effects did you experience while on this medication?

Hi, I'm Marge

I had AC “light” 4 weeks: Loss of appetite, no nausea—just didn’t feel like eating at all. Hair loss and anemia were the other side effects. Felt bad for several days following infusion, and then ok, except for not wanting to eat. With each round, the “down time lasted longer”, until the end when there was no really no “break”. I know some people get 6 infusions, imagine that this pattern would continue, with feeling lousy continuously.

  • Wed Mar 21, 2018
Hi, I'm Kimboracket

In 3 weeks my chemo cocktail will switch from taxol/ herceptin & perjeta to AC. I have been able to control nausea during the past 8 weeks with Koolchewz- cannabis gummies. Does anyone have experience using the medical cannabis for controlling side effects from AC. Koolchewz eliminated the nausea and allowed me to sleep through the night while only needing to take 1/3 of a ribbon twice a day. It was a miracle.

  • Tue Aug 22, 2017
Hi, I'm souplady

AC was tougher than the Taxol for me – I would feel nauseated for only 2-3 days, but felt tired and “crummy”, which would last until 2-3 days before the next treatment. Taxol was pretty easy, compared to AC – after a few weeks I started having back pain the night of treatment, which seemed to get worse with time – but only lasted for the night. I learned to come home from treatment and take a nap (assisted by the Benadryl given prior to treatment), then stay up with the family to watch the baseball game (2001 – the Mariner’s “dream” season!). I wouldn’t get much sleep that night because of the back pain, but had the weekend to recover. I was able to work the entire time, just cut back the hours a bit (probably = to .8 FTE). Good luck!

  • Thu Nov 8, 2012

This discussion needs your voice!

What were the specific side effects that you experienced while taking this medication? How did you manage them?

What coping tips would you give to new patients on this regimen?

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What do you wish you had known before taking this medication? What information would you like to pass on to patients who are beginning this medication?

Treatment Overview

This chemotherapy regimen is commonly used to treat:

See Expert Resources

The Navigating Care Library includes articles about cancer, chemotherapy regimens and drugs from the the National Cancer Institute and other experts.