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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Ellence

Generic Name: epirubicin (Pronunciation: EP i ROO bi sin)

What is epirubicin (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.

What are the possible side effects of epirubicin (Ellence)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • 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;
  • confusion, fainting;
  • 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;
  • tired feeling;
  • hair loss;
  • 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.

What is the most important information I should know about epirubicin (Ellence)?

Before you are treated with epirubicin, tell your doctor about all other cancer medications and treatments you have received, including radiation.

You should not receive epirubicin if you have an untreated or uncontrolled infection (including mouth sores), severe liver or heart problems, or if you have recently had a heart attack.

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.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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