Generic Name: epirubicin (EP i ROO bi sin)Brand Names: Ellence
Epirubicin is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.
Epirubicin is used to treat breast cancer.
Epirubicin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to epirubicin or similar medications (Cerubidine, Adriamycin, Idamycin, Novantrone).
Before you receive epirubicin, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, congestive heart failure, a history of heart disease or heart attack, or a weak immune system caused by prior cancer treatments.Do not receive epirubicin without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. Epirubicin could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
If a man fathers a child while receiving this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment.
Some people being treated with epirubicin have developed secondary cancers such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.
an untreated or uncontrolled infection (including mouth sores);
severe liver disease;
severe heart problems; or
if you have recently had a heart attack.
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive this medication. Before you receive epirubicin, tell your doctor if you have:
a weak immune system caused by prior cancer treatments;
congestive heart failure; or
if you have ever had a heart attack.
Some people being treated with epirubicin have developed secondary cancers such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not receive epirubicin without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
If a man fathers a child while receiving this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment.It is not known whether epirubicin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Epirubicin is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take at least 15 minutes to complete.
Epirubicin is usually given together with other cancer medications. Follow your doctor's instructions about your specific treatment schedule.
You may also receive medications to prevent nausea, vomiting, or infections.
If any of this medication accidentally gets on your skin, wash it thoroughly with soap and warm water.Epirubicin can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your heart and liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of epirubicin.
Overdose symptoms may include mouth sores, cold feeling, bloody or black stools, coughing up blood, urinating less than usual, or weak or shallow breathing.
Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
swelling, rapid weight gain;
severe burning, stinging, pain, swelling, redness, or skin changes around the IV needle;
white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
severe vomiting, thirst, and hot dry skin;
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, or signs of infection;
slow or uneven heart rate, weak pulse;
muscle weakness, tingly feeling;
urinating less than usual or not at all; or
easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness.
Less serious side effects may include:
red colored urine for 1 or 2 days after receiving the medication;
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
changes in your menstrual periods;
warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin;
darkening of your skin or nails; or
mild itching or skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
The following drugs can interact with epirubicin. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:
paclitaxel (Taxol, Onxol);
cimetidine (Tagamet); or
a calcium channel blocker such as amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Tiazac, Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular), or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with epirubicin. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.