Health Encyclopedia > Medications

idarubicin

Pronunciation: EYE da ROO bi sin

Brand: Idamycin PFS

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

Idarubicin should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Serious side effects have been reported with the use of idarubicin including: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); severe heart damage with prolonged use; decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; fever or chills; or signs of infection); severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite; and others.Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with idarubicin.

What is idarubicin?

Idarubicin is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. Idarubicin interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Idarubicin is used to treat a type of blood cancer (acute myeloid leukemia -AML) in adults .

Idarubicin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using idarubicin?

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Do not use idarubicin without first talking to your doctor if you have

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • heart disease;
  • poor bone marrow function;
  • received radiation therapy that encompassed the heart; or
  • previously received treatment with doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Rubex), doxorubicin liposomal (Doxil), daunorubicin (Cerubidine), daunorubicin liposomal (Daunoxome), idarubicin (Idamycin), or mitoxantrone (Novantrone).

The use of idarubicin may be dangerous if you have any of the conditions listed above.

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Idarubicin is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that idarubicin is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use idarubicin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Discuss with your doctor the appropriate use of birth control during treatment with idarubicin if necessary.

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Because of the potential for serious side effects in a nursing infant, breast-feeding should be avoided during treatment with idarubicin.

The safety and effectiveness of idarubicin in children has not been established.

How should I use idarubicin?

Idarubicin should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with idarubicin depending upon the type of cancer being treated and other factors. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.

Your doctor will probably want you to have regularly scheduled blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with idarubicin to monitor progress and side effects.

Skin accidentally exposed to idarubicin should be rinsed thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Your healthcare provider will store idarubicin as directed by the manufacturer. If you are storing idarubicin at home, follow the directions provided by your healthcare provider.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of idarubicin.

What happens if I overdose?

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If for any reason an overdose of idarubicin is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Symptoms of a idarubicin overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe.

What should I avoid while using idarubicin?

Skin accidentally exposed to idarubicin should be rinsed thoroughly with soap and warm water.

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Do not receive "live" vaccines during treatment with idarubicin. Administration of a live vaccine may be dangerous during treatment with idarubicin.

What are the possible side effects of idarubicin?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects from idarubicin, contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; or fever, chills, or signs of infection);
  • congestive heart failure (difficulty breathing, fluid retention, chest pain);
  • irregular heartbeats;
  • tissue or vein reactions near the site of administration;
  • liver damage (abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite;
  • inflamation and sores inside the mouth, throat, or intestines;
  • fever, chills, or other signs of infection;
  • numbness, tingling, or difficult movement of a body part;
  • seizures; or
  • increased levels of uric acid in the body (joint pain and stiffness).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue taking idarubicin and talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • facial flushing during administration;
  • eye irritation or tearing;
  • darkening of the nail beds and skin folds;
  • temporary hair loss; or
  • red colored urine for 1 or 2 days following a dose.

Some breast cancer patients developed a second cancer (leukemia) after treatment with idarubicin. Idarubicin may cause premature menopause.

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 idarubicin?

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Do not use idarubicin without first talking to your doctor if you have had previous treatment with doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Rubex), doxorubicin liposomal (Doxil), daunorubicin (Cerubidine), daunorubicin liposomal (Daunoxome), idarubicin (Idamycin), or mitoxantrone (Novantrone). Because there is a maximum amount of these medications that should be administered to an individual, you may not be able to use idarubicin.

Before using idarubicin, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines.

  • paclitaxel (Taxol);
  • cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB, others);
  • progesterone (Prometrium);
  • verapamil (Calan, Calan SR, Covera-HS, Isoptin, Isoptin SR, Verelan, Verelan PM, others)
  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);
  • cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Cytoxan Lyophilized, Neosar);
  • phenobarbital;
  • phenytoin (Dilantin); or
  • streptozocin (Zanosar).

You may not be able to take idarubicin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

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Do not receive "live" vaccines during treatment with idarubicin. Administration of a live vaccine may be dangerous during treatment with idarubicin.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with idarubicin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, during treatment with idarubicin.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about idarubicin.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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