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All about: idarubicin

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Generic Name: idarubicin (eye da RUE bih sin)
Brand Names: Idamycin, Idamycin PFS

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 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 should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using idarubicin?

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.

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. 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?

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.

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

Idarubicin side effects

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.

Other side effects have also been reported. Discuss with your doctor any side effect that occurs during treatment with idarubicin.

What other drugs will affect idarubicin?

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.

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 healthcare provider may have additional information about idarubicin that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Idarubicin is available with a prescription under the brand names Idamycin and Idamycin PFS. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • 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.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision Date: 5/9/06 4:44:35 PM.

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