"May 14, 2013 -- Actress and activist Angelina Jolie's recent decision to have a preventive double mastectomy highlights the difficult choices facing women who find out they have a high risk for breast cancer because of their genes.
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
EPIRUBICIN - INJECTION
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Ellence
WARNING: Epirubicin must be given only by injection slowly into a vein. Do not inject into a muscle or under the skin. If this medication accidentally leaks into the skin/muscle around the injection site, it may cause severe damage. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice redness, pain, or swelling at or near the injection site.
This medication may infrequently result in serious (rarely fatal) heart problems (including heart failure). This may occur both during treatment or months to years after treatment is completed. The risk of heart problems is affected by your dose, medical history (including previous heart disease, radiation treatment to the chest area), and previous use of this and other drugs (including doxorubicin). Tell your doctor immediately if you notice symptoms such as fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or swelling ankles/feet.
Epirubicin may cause certain severe blood and bone marrow disorders (low or abnormal red blood cells/white blood cells/platelets). This can affect your body's ability to stop bleeding or fight infection. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop unusual tiredness, easy bleeding/bruising, or signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat).
Very rarely, people with cancer who are treated with this type of medication have developed other cancers (e.g., secondary leukemia). The risk may be increased when this medication is given with certain anti-cancer drugs (especially in high doses) or radiation treatment. Consult your doctor for more details.
Before starting treatment with this medication, tell your doctor if you have liver problems. Your dose may need to be adjusted.
USES: Epirubicin is used to treat breast cancer. It belongs to a class of drugs known as anthracyclines and works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may also be used to treat other cancers (such as bone cancer).
HOW TO USE: This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional, as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.
If this medication touches your skin, immediately wash the area well with plenty of water. You may also use soap and water or a mixture of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in plenty of water. If this medication gets in your eye, open the eyelids and flush with water for 15 minutes, then seek immediate medical attention.
Drink plenty of fluids while using this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Doing so helps decrease the risk of certain side effects (e.g., increased uric acid).
Additional Ellence Information
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.
Find support and advances in treatment.