Epirubicin - Benefits, dosage and side effects

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Epirubicin - Benefits, dosage and side effects
Epirubicin - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Epirubicin is a drug to treat certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer or leukemia. This drug can be combined with other drugs, as an adjunct or adjuvant therapy in breast cancer patients who have undergone tumor removal surgery

Epirubicin belongs to the class of anthracycline drugs. This drug works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. This medicine should not be used carelessly and should only be used under the supervision of a doctor.

Epirubicin - Alodokter
Epirubicin - Alodokter

Epirubicin trademark: Ciazil, Epirol, Epirubicin HCL

What is Epirubicin

Class Prescription drugs
Categories Anthracycline anticancer
Benefits Treats certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma, or breast cancer
Used by Adult
Epirubicin for pregnant and lactating women Category D: There is positive evidence of risks to the human fetus, but the benefits may outweigh the risks, for example in dealing with life-threatening situations.

It is not known whether epirubicin can be absorbed into breast milk or not. Breastfeeding women are advised to consult a doctor before using this drug.

Medicine form Inject

Warning Before Using Epirubicin

Before using this medicine, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  • Tell your doctor about any allergies you have. Epirubicin should not be given to patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had a blood clotting disorder, gout, liver disease, infection, kidney disease, or heart disease, including arrhythmia, heart attack, congestive heart failure.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or are currently undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
  • Tell your doctor if you plan to vaccinate while on treatment with epirubicin.
  • As much as possible avoid exposure to the sun for too long while undergoing treatment with epirubicin, because this drug can cause the skin to become more sensitive to light. Always use sunscreen when you are outdoors.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking epirubicin before any surgery, including dental surgery.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy. Use effective contraception during treatment with epirubicin.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • See your doctor immediately if you have an allergic reaction, serious side effects, or overdose after taking epirubicin.

Dosage and Instructions for Use of Epirubicin

The dose of epirubicin will be given by the doctor according to the condition, body surface area, and the patient's response to treatment. The following are general doses of epirubicin based on the patient's condition:

  • Condition: Breast cancer

    Initial dose 100–120 mg/m2, in single or 2 doses divided. If given in separate doses, the drug will be given on days 1 and 8 of each 28 day cycle. The medicine will be given for 6 cycles.

  • Condition: Lymphoma, acute leukemia, multiple myeloma, solid tumor

    The dose is 60–90 mg/m2, every 3-4 weeks. Dosage can be divided into 2–3 days if needed. Maximum dose is 900–1000 mg/m2

How to Use Epirubicin Correctly

Epirubicin will be given directly by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor. The drug will be injected through a vein (intravenous / IV), as recommended by the doctor. Epirubicin should not be injected other than through a vein, because it can cause tissue damage.

If there is contact between the drug and the skin, immediately wash the area with water. If the medicine gets in your eyes, rinse your eyes with water for 15 minutes and see a doctor immediately.

It is recommended to consume adequate amounts of fluids during treatment with epirubicin to reduce the risk of side effects.

Follow the injection schedule given by the doctor so that the treatment is effective. During treatment, you may need to have regular medical tests to check your body's response to the drug.

Epirubicin Interaction with Other Drugs

The following are some of the effects of drug interactions that can occur when epirubicin is used with other drugs:

  • Increased risk of irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) if used with doxorubicin or antiarrhythmic drugs, such as quinidine, amiodarone, procainamide
  • Increased blood levels of epirubicin when used with cimetidine
  • Increased risk of liver disorders when used with paracetamol, ethanol, clavulanate or valproic acid

Side Effects and Dangers of Epirubicin

Some of the side effects that can occur after using epirubicin are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Warmness in the face, neck, or chest (flushing)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Changes in skin or nail color
  • Hair loss
  • Red urine 1-2 days after injection

Consult your doctor if the side effects above do not subside immediately or are getting worse. You need to see a doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction to a drug or a more serious side effect, such as:

  • Pain or sores in the mouth and throat
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • back pain
  • Easy to bruise
  • Chest pain, coughing up blood, or swelling in the legs
  • heart rate fast or slow
  • Symptoms of dehydration, such as feeling very thirsty, urinating very rarely, or dry skin
  • Signs of infection, such as fever, flu, canker sores that don't get better