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Drug Info > E > Epirubicin for Injection
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DIN (Drug Identification Number)


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Brand Name

Epirubicin for Injection

Common Name

In this drug factsheet:

DIN (Drug Identification Number)


How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Epirubicin belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics, and specifically to the family of antineoplastics called anthracyclines. It is used alone or in combination with other antineoplastics to treat many types of cancer including breast cancer, lung cancer, ovary cancer, stomach cancer, and lymphoma.

Epirubicin prevents the growth of cancer cells by interfering with the genetic material DNA, which is necessary for reproduction of cells.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop receiving this medication without consulting your doctor.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose of epirubicin varies widely according to the specific condition being treated, the response to therapy, the other medications being used, and the body size of the recipient person receiving treatment.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications.

Epirubicin is usually injected into a vein through a specially prepared site on the skin. Doses are usually given at 3- to 4-week intervals, either alone or with other medications used to treat cancer. Some dosing schedules suggest that smaller doses be given on a weekly basis. Very careful handling of this medication is required. Epirubicin is always given under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital or similar setting with access to sterile equipment for preparation.

As well as interfering with the genetic material DNA of cancer cells, epirubicin can interfere with some of your normal cells. This can cause a number of side effects such as hair loss and mouth sores. Keep track of any side effects and report them to your doctor as suggested in the section, "What side effects are possible with this medication?"

It is important this medication be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive epirubin, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.

This medication will be stored at the hospital or clinic where you receive treatment.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each mL of sterile, ready-to-use red-orange solution contains 2 mg of epirubicin hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: sodium chloride, water for injection, and hydrochloric acid for pH adjustment.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Epirubicin should not be given to anyone who:

  • is allergic to epirubicin or to any of the ingredients of the medication
  • is allergic to other anthracycline-type medications such as doxorubicin
  • is breast-feeding
  • has had a recent heart attack
  • has heart failure
  • has irregular heart rhythm
  • has low blood cell counts caused by previous treatment with cancer medications or radiation therapy
  • has previously been treated with maximum allowable lifetime doses of any anthracycline medication (e.g., doxorubicin, daunorubicin, epirubicin, idarubicin) or mitoxantrone
  • has severe heart disease
  • has severe liver impairment



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