Idarubicin

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Idarubicin Brand Name(s): Idarubicin.

Uses

What is Idarubicin used for?

Idarubicin is commonly used to treat a certain type of cancer (leukemia). It belongs to a class of drugs known as anthracyclines and works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How should I take Idarubicin?

This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional, as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.

If this medication touches your skin, immediately wash the area well with soap and water. If this medication gets in your eye, open the eyelids and flush with water for 15 minutes, then seek immediate medical attention.

Drink plenty of fluids while using this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Doing so helps decrease the risk of certain side effects (e.g., increased uric acid).

How do I store Idarubicin?

Store under refrigeration 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F), and protect from light. Retain in carton until time of use.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Idarubicin?

Before using idarubicin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other anthracyclines (e.g., doxorubicin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood/bleeding disorders (e.g., anemia, low blood cell counts), gout, heart disease (e.g., congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat), kidney disease, liver disease, radiation treatment (especially to chest area).

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose. Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.

To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.

Caution is advised when using this medication in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the effects on the heart.

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away. To avoid pregnancy, both males and females using this drug should use reliable form(s) of birth control (e.g., birth control pills, condoms) during treatment. Consult your doctor for details and to discuss effective forms of birth control.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Idarubicin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Idarubicin. Idarubicin is pregnancy risk category D according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Idarubicin?

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headache may occur. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Temporary hair loss is a common side effect. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: severe abdominal pain, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion), numbness/tingling of arms/legs, rash/blisters on palms of hands/soles of feet, unusual bleeding/bruising (e.g., small red spots on the skin, black/bloody stools, bloody urine, vomit that looks like coffee grounds).

Pain or sores in the mouth and throat may occur. Brush your teeth gently/carefully, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth frequently with cool water mixed with baking soda or salt. It may also be best to eat soft, moist foods.

Get medical help right away if this rare but very serious side effect occurs: seizure.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), trouble breathing, severe dizziness.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Idarubicin?

Some products that may interact with this drug include: other anti-cancer drugs (especially anthracyclines such as doxorubicin).

Idarubicin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Idarubicin?

Idarubicin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Idarubicin?

Idarubicin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Idarubicin.

What is the dose of Idarubicin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

12 mg/m2 daily for 3 days by slow (10 to 15 min) IV administration in combination with cytarabine

Maximum recommended cumulative lifetime dose for the IV formulation: 150 mg/m2

In patients with unequivocal evidence of leukemia after the first induction course, a second course may be administered.

Comment:

-Administration of the second course should be delayed in patients who experience severe mucositis until recovery has occurred, and a dose reduction of 25% is recommended.

Use: For the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in combination with other approved antileukemic drug (including French-American-British [FAB] classifications M1 through M7)

Usual Adult Dose for Acute Nonlymphocytic Leukemia

12 mg/m2 daily for 3 days by slow (10 to 15 min) IV administration in combination with cytarabine

Maximum recommended cumulative lifetime dose for the IV formulation: 150 mg/m2

In patients with unequivocal evidence of leukemia after the first induction course, a second course may be administered.

Comment:

-Administration of the second course should be delayed in patients who experience severe mucositis until recovery has occurred, and a dose reduction of 25% is recommended.

Use: For the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in combination with other approved antileukemic drug (including French-American-British [FAB] classifications M1 through M7)

Renal Dose Adjustments

-In patients with renal impairment, a dose reduction should be considered.

Liver Dose Adjustments

-In patients with hepatic impairment, a dose reduction should be considered.

Dose Adjustments

Administration of the second course should be delayed in patients who experience severe mucositis, until recovery from this toxicity has occurred, and a dose reduction of 25% is recommended.

Other Comments

General:

-Patients over 60 years of age undergoing induction therapy experience congestive heart failure, serious arrhythmias, chest pain, myocardial infarction, and asymptomatic declines in LVEF more frequently than younger patients.

-Severe myelosuppression will occur in all patients given a therapeutic dose of this agent for induction, consolidation, or maintenance.

Reconstitution/preparation techniques:

Refer to the manufacturer product information.

IV compatibility:

Refer to the manufacturer product information.

Monitoring:

-Liver and kidney function should be evaluated with conventional clinical laboratory tests (using serum bilirubin and serum creatinine as indicators) prior to, and during, treatment.

-Hematologic function should be carefully monitored.

-Cardiac function should be monitored.

Patient advice:

-This drug may turn the urine red for 1 to 2 days after administration and patients should be advised that this is no cause for alarm.

What is the dose of Idarubicin for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Idarubicin available?

Idarubicin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Intravenous solution
  • Intravenous powder for injection

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Idarubicin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: March 1, 2018 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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