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Generic Name: Idarubicin (eye-duh-ROO-bih-sin)
Brand Name: Idamycin PFS

Idarubicin must be given slowly and directly into a vein (intravenously) along with other IV fluids. Do not inject Idarubicin into the muscle (intramuscularly) or just beneath the skin (subcutaneously). If Idarubicin accidentally leaks into surrounding tissue, the skin and/or muscle may be severely damaged. Notify the doctor immediately if redness, pain, or swelling occurs at (or around) the injection site.

Idarubicin may cause heart problems (including heart failure) or bone marrow suppression, making it hard to fight off infections. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop an irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, swelling of the hands or feet, easy bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection, such as fever, unusual fatigue, or persistent sore throat. People with heart conditions or people who have been treated with similar drugs (anthracyclines) are at greater risk for heart problems.

Idarubicin is used for:

Treating certain types of cancer (eg, acute myeloid leukemia). It is used along with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Idarubicin is a cytotoxic agent. It works by inhibiting activities of the cancer cell necessary for life and growth. This prevents the cancer cell from reproducing and results in death of the cancer cell.

Do NOT use Idarubicin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Idarubicin

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Idarubicin :

Some medical conditions may interact with Idarubicin . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are of childbearing age, pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have blood (eg, anemia), heart, liver, or kidney problems; bone marrow depression; a low white blood cell count; or infection
  • if you have a weakened immune system or heart disease or other heart problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Idarubicin . However, no specific interactions with Idarubicin are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Idarubicin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Idarubicin :

Use Idarubicin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Idarubicin is usually administered as an injection at your doctor"s office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Idarubicin at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If Idarubicin contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Idarubicin is recommended. Check with your doctor or nurse for instructions.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Idarubicin , contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Idarubicin .

Important safety information:

  • If nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite occurs, ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.
  • Idarubicin may cause a serious reaction if it comes in contact with your skin. If this happens, wash the area with soap and water for approximately 15 minutes. Contact your doctor as soon as possible. The use of gloves while handling Idarubicin is recommended.
  • Idarubicin may lower your body"s ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Idarubicin may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
  • Idarubicin may discolor the urine. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
  • Check with your doctor before having vaccinations while you are using Idarubicin .
  • LAB TESTS, including complete blood cell count and liver and kidney function, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Idarubicin with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially the effects on the heart.
  • Idarubicin is not recommended for use in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Idarubicin has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Idarubicin during pregnancy. It is unknown if Idarubicin is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using Idarubicin .

Possible side effects of Idarubicin :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Cramps; diarrhea; fever; hair loss; headache; hives; nausea; rash; stomach pain; swelling of mucous membranes; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); changes in vision; chest pain; dizziness; fainting; infection (fever, chills, cough, sore throat); irregular heartbeat; numbness of an arm or leg; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; seizure; serious heart problems (eg, heart failure, serious irregular heartbeat, heart attack); severe stomach pain; sharp or crushing chest pain; sores on the mouth or lips; sudden leg pain; sudden severe headache; sudden shortness of breath; swelling of the feet, legs, or ankles; unusual bruising or bleeding; weakness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include serious digestion and heart problems.

Proper storage of Idarubicin :

Idarubicin is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Idarubicin at home, store Idarubicin as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Idarubicin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Idarubicin , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Idarubicin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Idarubicin . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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