Brand name: Ellence
available by prescription only
Epirubicin is given by
injection into a vein (IV injection)
Epirubicin is used - in combination with other cytostatics - in the adjuvant treatment of breast cancer in early
stage with involvement of lymph nodes.
also indicated for the treatment of the following medical conditions:
- liver cancer
- oral cancer
- pancreatic cancer
- ovarian cancer
- non-Hodgkin lymphoma
(also known as NHL or just
cell lung cancer.
The recommended dose of Epirubicin varies depending on the severity of the cancer, your age, health in general, and
other medications you are taking. Your weight will also be taken in consideration in the choice of the treatment.
Epirubicin is given intravenously in a hospital or in a medical center. The drug must be prepared and administered
by medical specialists. In general, Epirubicin is administered at intervals of three to four weeks. Epirubicin can
be taken alone or in combination with other anticancer drugs.
Depending on the reaction of your body
to the drug, your oncologist may adjust the dosage. A lower dose may be recommended if you are elderly or if
your bone marrow function has been disrupted by prior chemotherapy or
the fact that Epirubicin is given in hospital by professionals, the risk of overdose is considerably low.
Epirubicin overdose may cause serious health problems. An Epirubicin overdose can lead to: in 24 hours, myocardial
degeneration; and 10 to 14 days, to severe decreased
of bone marrow
(myelosuppression). Heart failure can occur until months or years after the therapy. In addition, an overdose can
cause gastrointestinal toxicity, mainly painful inflammation and ulceration of
the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract
(mucositis). Treatment of Epirubicin overdose includes, in most cases, supportive measures such as blood
transfusions and hospitalization.
dose: Epirubicin is administered in
hospital; you cannot miss any dose if you respect all your doctor appointments. If for some reasons you cannot
go to the hospital for the treatment, contact your oncologist before the date schedule for the injection. Do not
stay home because you feel malaise; chemotherapy causes side effects in most patients.
Epirubicin is contraindicated in the following conditions:
to epirubicin or any of its ingredients
blood counts due to bone marrow disorder
of serious heart disease
of treatment by epirubicin or by any anthracycline such as doxorubicin, daunorubicin, mitoxantrone or
Mechanism of action (MOA):
Epirubicin is an anthracyline antitumor
; it slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body by altering their DNA structure.
talk you to your doctor
before taking any prescription or non prescription medications.
Some medications may affect therapeutic effects of Epirubicin, or increase the risk of developing side effects.
Always consult with your doctor before taking these medicines:
- Ganciclovir, an antiviral drug
- Azathioprine, an immune system inhibitor
depressant drug that causes relaxation
, a drug
used to inhibit the
production of acid in the stomach
medication used to treat pain of gouty arthritis
vaccine, yellow fever vaccine, etc.
(Cytoxan), a medication of the
alkylating agent family used to treat a variety of cancers
(Cytoxan, Cytoxan, Neosar, Procytox,
Revimmune), a drug used to treat several types of cancers
- Celecoxib, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, painful menstruation, colon and rectum
Side effects: while attacking
Epirubicin also affects
normal (healthy) cells, which lead, in certain patients, to the following side effects:
If the side
effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor immediately if you
experience any of these symptoms:
of breath or breathing difficulty
bruising or bleeding
of skin to sunlight
in the hands or feet
or darkening of the skin or nails.
1 - ch.oddb.org/fr,
2 - nlm.nih.gov