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epirubicin (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before I receive 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 use this medication if you are allergic to epirubicin or similar medications (Cerubidine, Adriamycin, Idamycin, Novantrone), or if you have:

  • an untreated or uncontrolled infection (including mouth sores);
  • severe liver disease;
  • severe heart problems; or
  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

To make sure epirubicin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver or kidney disease;
  • a weak immune system caused by prior cancer treatments;
  • heart disease, a heart rhythm disorder, congestive heart failure; or
  • if you have ever had a heart attack.

Using epirubicin may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use epirubicin if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving epirubicin, whether you are a man or a woman. Epirubicin use by either parent may cause birth defects.

It is not known whether epirubicin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using epirubicin.

How is epirubicin given (Ellence)?

Epirubicin is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Epirubicin is usually given together with other cancer medications. You may be given other medications to prevent nausea, vomiting, or infections.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when epirubicin is injected.

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 and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

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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