Epirubicin (Ellence) For the Treatment of Cancer
How It Is Given
This is a medicine given for the treatment of cancer and is injected into a vein.
Common Side Effects
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mouth sores
- Complete hair loss, but not permanent
- Reduced blood counts
- Changes in menstrual cycle
Less Common Side Effects
- Heart muscle changes
- Allergic reaction
When to Call the Doctor
- Shortness of breath, trouble breathing
- Ankle swelling
- Fever greater than 100.8° F
- Redness, tenderness, or swelling at the injection site
- This drug is irritating to tissues if it leaks out of the vein. Tell your nurse if you feel any burning, stinging, or pain while the drug is being given.
- Studies may be done before the drug is given to assess heart function.
- This drug may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Use a sunscreen with SPF of 15 or greater when you are outside.
- If you have had radiation therapy, you may develop skin problems, (redness and itching) in that area.
Medicines to Avoid
- Cimetidine (Tagamet®)
- Discuss any heart medicines you are taking with your doctor before starting and new medicine.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots).
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 09/23/2011
Copyright © 09/23/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6883
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