Last Updated 23 Apr 2013
Epirubicin hydrochloride (Epp-ee-roo-biss-in hi-droh-clor-ride) is a medicine which is used in a number of conditions.
The information in this Medicine Guide for Epirubicin hydrochloride varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.
There are 4 preparations of Epirubicin hydrochloride available. If Epirubicin 10mg/5ml solution for injection vials is not the preparation you are looking for, please select from the drop down list below.
Information specific to Epirubicin 10mg/5ml solution for injection vials when used in Leukaemias (all types)
Epirubicin hydrochloride is used to treat many types of cancers.
Your medical team will discuss with you the options for treating your cancer. They will take into account factors such as the type of cancer, where it is, which stage it is at and whether you have had treatment before. The results of blood tests and other investigations will also be considered.
How well you feel and how you are likely to cope with treatment is also important.
Your cancer treatment will usually consist of a treatment session with Epirubicin hydrochloride followed by a break of a number of days before the next treatment session with Epirubicin hydrochloride. This cycle may be repeated many times as part of your cancer treatment.
Epirubicin hydrochloride works by damaging cancer cells in the body. Epirubicin hydrochloride also affects healthy cells and treatment with Epirubicin hydrochloride may damage your immune system or heart. Your medical team may arrange for you to have some tests to check how well your immune system and heart are working.
As Epirubicin hydrochloride will be given to you as an injection, it will usually be stored by the medical team.
Epirubicin hydrochloride is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.
Over time it is possible that Epirubicin hydrochloride can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Epirubicin hydrochloride has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.
Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.
Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience.
Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.
If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.
Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.
Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.
Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.
When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.
Like all medicines Epirubicin hydrochloride can cause side effects. You should see how this medicine affects you and then judge if you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt, talk to your prescriber.
Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.
In the case of Epirubicin hydrochloride:
You need to discuss your specific circumstances with your doctor to weigh up the overall risks and benefits of taking this medicine. You and your doctor can make a decision about whether you are going to take this medicine during pregnancy.
If the decision is that you should not have Epirubicin hydrochloride, then you should discuss whether there is an alternative medicine that you could take during pregnancy.
Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.
In the case of Epirubicin hydrochloride:
Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. If you wish to breast-feed you should discuss with your prescriber whether there are any other medicines you could take which would also allow you to breast-feed. You should not stop this medicine without taking advice from your doctor.
Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. They may also be used to prolong the life of the medicine.
This medicine contains epirubicin hydrochloride.
We are unable to list all of the ingredients for your medicine here. For a full list, you should refer to the patient information leaflet that comes with this medicine or ask your prescriber. You should check that you are able to take the ingredients of your medicine, especially if you have any allergies.
If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Epirubicin hydrochloride before, do not take Epirubicin hydrochloride. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.
Epirubicin hydrochloride, Version 6, last updated 23 Apr 2013