Generic Name: idarubicin (EYE da ROO bi sin)
Brand Name: Idamycin PFS, Idamycin
What is idarubicin?
Idarubicin is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Idarubicin is used to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of blood cancer.
Idarubicin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about idarubicin?
Idarubicin may cause dangerous effects on your heart. Call your doctor at once if you have chest pain, shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, or rapid weight gain.
Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when idarubicin is injected. Call your doctor if you have irritation or skin changes where the injection was given.
Idarubicin can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving idarubicin?
Before you are treated with idarubicin, tell your doctor about all other cancer medications and treatments you have received, including radiation.
You should not receive idarubicin if you are allergic to it.
To make sure idarubicin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicines); or
if you have been treated before with doxorubicin, daunorubicin, epirubicin, idarubicin, or mitoxantrone.
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use idarubicin if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to avoid pregnancy during your treatment with idarubicin. Follow your doctor's instructions about how long to prevent pregnancy after your treatment ends.
It is not known whether idarubicin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I use idarubicin?
Idarubicin is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
Idarubicin is usually given together with other cancer medications. You may be given other medications to prevent nausea, vomiting, or infections.
Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when idarubicin is injected.
If any of this medication accidentally gets on your skin, wash it thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Idarubicin can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your kidney and liver function may also need to be tested.
Your heart function may also need to be checked at your doctor's office using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your idarubicin injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using idarubicin?
This medicine can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using idarubicin, or you could develop a serious infection. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
Idarubicin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing;
skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;
rectal pain, blood in your stools, diarrhea;
severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
irritation or skin changes where the injection was given;
shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
change in your mental state, seizure (convulsions);
joint pain and stiffness; or
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
mild stomach discomfort;
numbness or tingling;
temporary hair loss.
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Idarubicin dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis:
For the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in combination with other approved antileukemic drugs: (This includes French-American-British (FAB) classifications M1 through M7.)
idarubicin 12 mg/m2 daily for 3 days by slow (10 to 15 min) intravenous injection in combination with cytarabine.
In patients with unequivocal evidence of leukemia after the first induction course, a second course may be administered.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Leukemia:
10 to 12 mg/m2 once daily for 3 days.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Solid Tumors:
5 mg/m2 once daily for 3 days.
What other drugs will affect idarubicin?
Other drugs may interact with idarubicin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about idarubicin
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or 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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