Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library epirubicin

epirubicin

Pronunciation: EP i ROO bi sin

Brand: Ellence

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

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

You should not use this medicine if you have an untreated or uncontrolled infection, severe liver disease, severe heart problems, or if you have recently had a heart attack. You may not be able to use epirubicin if you have already been treated with a certain amount of other cancer medications.

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

Epirubicin can cause dangerous effects on your heart that may not be reversible and could occur months to years after you receive epirubicin. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of heart problems: swelling, rapid weight gain, shortness of breath.

Epirubicin affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. You will need frequent medical tests and your cancer treatments may be delayed.

What is epirubicin?

What is epirubicin?

Epirubicin is used to treat breast cancer.

Epirubicin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before I receive epirubicin?

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before I receive epirubicin?

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 (such as daunorubicin, doxorubicin, idarubicin,mitoxantrone, or valrubicin), 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.

You may not be able to use epirubicin if you have already been treated with a certain amount of other cancer medications.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart problems;
  • radiation to your chest area;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • bone marrow suppression; or
  • chemotherapy with doxorubicin, daunorubicin, epirubicin, idarubicin, or mitoxantrone.

Using epirubicin may increase your risk of developing other cancers, such as leukemia. Ask your doctor about this risk.

Both men and women using this medicine should use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy. Epirubicin can harm an unborn baby if the mother or father is using this medicine.

Epirubicin may cause you to stop having menstrual periods and may also cause premature menopause. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about these risks.

You should not breastfeed while using epirubicin.

How is epirubicin given?

How is epirubicin given?

Your doctor will perform blood tests to make sure you do not have conditions that would prevent you from safely using epirubicin.

Epirubicin is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

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

If any of this medicine accidentally gets on your skin, wash it thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Epirubicin affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your heart function may also need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

You may be given other medications to help prevent infections or certain side effects. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

What happens if I miss a dose?

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your epirubicin injection.

What happens if I overdose?

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving epirubicin?

What should I avoid while receiving epirubicin?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of epirubicin?

What are the possible side effects of epirubicin?

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

Epirubicin can cause dangerous effects on your heart that may not be reversible and could occur months to years after you receive epirubicin. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of heart problems: swelling, rapid weight gain, shortness of breath.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast or slow heartbeats;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red spots under your skin;
  • unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet;
  • pain, blistering, redness, bruising, or skin changes where the injection was given;
  • severe vomiting;
  • dehydration symptoms --feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin;
  • fluid build-up in or around the lungs --pain when you breathe, feeling short of breath while lying down, wheezing, gasping for breath, cough with foamy mucus, cold and clammy skin, anxiety, rapid heartbeats;
  • signs of tumor cell breakdown --tiredness, weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fast or slow heart rate, tingling in your hands and feet or around your mouth; or
  • signs of infection --fever, chills, flu symptoms, mouth sores, shallow breathing, pale or blue-colored skin.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • temporary hair loss;
  • blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;
  • hot flashes, missed menstrual periods;
  • discoloration of your skin or nails;
  • lack of energy; or
  • red-colored urine for 1 or 2 days after each injection.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect epirubicin?

What other drugs will affect epirubicin?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • other cancer medicines; or
  • heart or blood pressure medication.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect epirubicin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about epirubicin.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details