Epirubicin is an anticancer agent which is used as an adjuvant treatment for breast cancer. It should be used under the supervision of a qualified physician. Close monitoring of liver function and blood cell count are necessary while receiving this medication.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Epirubicin

  • Low WBC count
  • Fever with chills
  • Blood in urine and stools
  • Red spots on skin
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Change in skin color
  • Decreased appetite

Uses of Epirubicin

What is it prescribed for?

  • Adjuvant for Breast Cancer
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Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The peak effect of this medicine can be observed immediately after intravenous injection.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of this medicine lasts for an average duration of 3 to 4 days.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for pregnant women.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended in breastfeeding women.


Not recommended in patients with known allergy to Epirubicin.

Heart diseases

Not recommended in patients with heart failure, recent myocardial infarction or severe arrhythmias

Previously treated with epirubicin

Not recommended in patients previously treated with maximum cumulative doses of Epirubicin or any anthracyclines.
Warnings for special population


This medicine is not recommended for pregnant women.


This medicine is not recommended in breastfeeding women.
General warnings

Decrease blood cell count

This medicine may lower the white blood cells, neutrophils, and platelets. Close monitoring of blood cell count is necessary before and during each cycle. Do not start the treatment if the cell count is low.


The chances of occurring infections are more in patients receiving this medicine. Hold the chemotherapy and start with the broad-spectrum antibiotics if there are any signs and symptoms of fever. Close monitoring of the body temperature and the blood cell count is necessary.

Effect oh heart

This medicine is known to show toxic effects on the heart. It can cause congestive heart failure (CHF) which is a serious condition characterized by breathing difficulty, abnormal heart rhythm. The treatment should be discontinued if the symptoms appear.

Impaired liver function

This medicine is known to cause severe liver injury by increasing the level of liver enzymes. This effect may reduce the clearance and increases its toxicity. The liver function parameters should be assessed before starting the treatment. The treatment should be discontinued if the symptoms worsen.

Impaired kidney function

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with the kidney injury. The kidney function tests should be performed before and during the treatment. The dose of the medicine should be adjusted based on the serum creatinine levels.

Missed Dose

It is advised not to miss any dose. If you missed any dose, you should contact your doctor immediately.


Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol


Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.


Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine




Live vaccines

Disease interactions


Information not available.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
This medicine is given in multiple cycles. It is important to receive the every scheduled dose and make a note of next scheduled dose. Close monitoring of blood cells counts and liver function is necessary.

Usage does not depend on food timings

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Does not cause sleepiness

How it works
It works by interfering with the DNA synthesis and stops the growth of cells.
Legal Status









Schedule H

Epirubicin - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2017 [cited 16 May 2017]. Available from:


[Internet]. 2017 [cited 16 May 2017]. Available from:


DailyMed - Epirubicin hydrochloride injection, solution [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 16 May 2017]. Available from:


Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database [Internet]. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 2017 [cited 16 May 2017]. Available from:


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Information on this page was last updated on 16 Nov 2017


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