Generic Name: epirubicin (Intravenous route, Injection route)
Severe local tissue necrosis will occur if there is extravasation during administration. Epirubicin must not be given by the intramuscular or subcutaneous route.
Myocardial toxicity, manifested in its most severe form by potentially fatal congestive heart failure (CHF), may occur either during therapy with epirubicin or months to years after termination of therapy. The probability of developing clinically evident CHF is estimated as approximately 0.9% at a cumulative dose of 550 mg/m(2), 1.6% at 700 mg/m(2), and 3.3% at 900 mg/m(2). In the adjuvant treatment of breast cancer, the maximum cumulative dose used in clinical trials was 720 mg/m(2). The risk of developing CHF increases rapidly with increasing total cumulative doses of epirubicin in excess of 900 mg/m(2); this cumulative dose should only be exceeded with extreme caution. Active or dormant cardiovascular disease, prior or concomitant radiotherapy to the mediastinal/pericardial area, previous therapy with other anthracyclines or anthracenediones, or concomitant use of other cardiotoxic drugs may increase the risk of cardiac toxicity. Cardiac toxicity with epirubicin hydrochloride may occur at lower cumulative doses whether or not cardiac risk factors are present.
Secondary acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) has been reported in patients with breast cancer treated with anthracyclines, including epirubicin. The occurrence of refractory secondary leukemia is more common when such drugs are given in combination with DNA-damaging antineoplastic agents, when patients have been heavily pretreated with cytotoxic drugs, or when doses of anthracyclines have been escalated. The cumulative risk of developing treatment-related AML or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), in 7110 patients with breast cancer who received adjuvant treatment with epirubicin-containing regimens, was estimated as 0.27% at 3 years, 0.46% at 5 years and 0.55% at 8 years.
Dosage should be reduced in patients with impaired hepatic function.
Severe myelosuppression may occur.
Epirubicin should be administered only under the supervision of a physician who is experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents .
Severe local tissue necrosis will occur if there is extravasation during administration; do not administer by the intramuscular or subcutaneous route. Myocardial toxicity manifested in its most severe form by potentially fatal congestive heart failure (CHF) may occur either during therapy or months to years after termination of therapy. The risk of developing CHF increases rapidly with increasing total cumulative doses of epirubicin in excess of 900 mg/m(2); this cumulative dose should only be exceeded with extreme caution. Secondary acute myelogenous leukemia has been reported in patients treated with anthracyclines. Reduce dosage in patients with impaired hepatic function. Severe myelosuppression may occur with therapy .
Commonly used brand name(s):
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Chemical Class: Anthracycline
Epirubicin belongs to the general group of medicines known as antineoplastics. It is used to treat some kinds of cancers of the breast; lung; lymph system; stomach; and ovaries. It may also be used to treat other kinds of cancer, as determined by your doctor.
Epirubicin seems to interfere with the growth of cancer cells, which are then eventually destroyed by the body. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by epirubicin, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects, like hair loss, may not be serious but may cause concern. Some effects may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used.
Before you begin treatment with epirubicin, you and your doctor should talk about the good this medicine will do as well as the risks of using it.
Epirubicin is to be administered only by or under the supervision of your doctor.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in the product labeling, epirubicin is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of epirubicin in children with use in other age groups. Heart problems are more likely to occur in children younger than 2 years of age.
Heart problems are more likely to occur in the elderly, who may have existing heart disease. The elderly may also be more likely to have blood problems. Also, elderly patients may not be able to metabolize the medication as quickly as younger patients, which may put them at risk for added toxicity.
|All Trimesters||D||Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Epirubicin is sometimes given together with certain other medicines. If you are receiving a combination of medicines, it is important that you receive each one at the proper time. If you are taking some of these medicines by mouth, ask your health care professional to help you plan a way to take them at the right times.
While you are using this medicine, your doctor may want you to drink extra fluids so that you will pass more urine. This will help prevent kidney problems and keep your kidneys working well.
Epirubicin often causes nausea and vomiting. However, it is very important that you continue to receive the medication, even if you begin to feel ill. Ask your health care professional for ways to lessen these effects.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
While you are being treated with epirubicin, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. Epirubicin may lower your body's resistance, and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent. In addition, other persons living in your household should not take oral polio vaccine, since there is a chance they could pass the polio virus on to you. Also, avoid persons who have taken oral polio vaccine within the last several months. Do not get close to them, and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you cannot take these precautions, you should consider wearing a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth.
Epirubicin can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
If epirubicin accidentally leaks out of the vein into which it is injected, it may damage some tissues and cause scarring. Tell the doctor or nurse right away if you notice redness, pain, or swelling at the place of injection.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
Epirubicin causes the urine to turn reddish in color, which may stain clothes. This is not blood. It is to be expected and only lasts for 1 or 2 days after each dose is given.
This medicine often causes a temporary and total loss of hair. After treatment with epirubicin has ended, normal hair growth should return.
After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
The information contained in the Thomson Healthcare (Micromedex) products as delivered by Drugs.com is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.
The use of the Thomson Healthcare products is at your sole risk. These products are provided "AS IS" and "as available" for use, without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Thomson Healthcare and Drugs.com make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, usefulness or completeness of any of the information contained in the products. Additionally, THOMSON HEALTHCARE MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE OPINIONS OR OTHER SERVICE OR DATA YOU MAY ACCESS, DOWNLOAD OR USE AS A RESULT OF USE OF THE THOMSON HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. Thomson Healthcare does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Thomson Healthcare products.