Treats different kinds of leukemia.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- This medicine, like all medicines used to treat cancer, is very strong. Make sure you understand why you are getting it and what the risks and benefits of treatment are. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it will be given.
- Your medicine will be given through a tube put in one of your veins, usually in your arm, wrist, or hand and sometimes in your chest. This is called an intravenous (in-tra-VEEN-us), or IV.
- A nurse or other person trained to give cancer drugs will give your treatments.
- Do not get the medicine on your skin. If this happens wash the area with soap and water, and tell your caregiver.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a regular schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or the clinic where you get your treatments for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- If you have your treatments at a clinic, the staff at the clinic will keep your medicine there.
- If you have your treatments at home, you may need to store your medicine. Keep the IV liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Keep all medicine away from children.
- If you have your treatments at home, you should be given a special container for the used needles, medicine bag or bottles, and tubes. Keep it where children or pets cannot reach it.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some medicines may become harmful when taken with idarubicin. You should not use any other medicines without asking your doctor.
- You should not use aspirin or any product that has aspirin it (such as some cold medicines) unless you have talked to your doctor.
- Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Do not breastfeed while you are being given this medicine.
- If you start to have pain, redness, or swelling where the IV is given tell your health caregiver right away.
- You may get infections more easily while you are getting idarubicin. Stay away from crowds or people with colds, flu, or other infections.
- This medicine may make your mouth sore and irritated. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush or mouth swab.
- Idarubicin can cause nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to keep you from feeling sick and throwing up. If the medicine does not help (you can't keep liquids down), call your doctor.
- Do not get pregnant while you or your sexual partner are receiving idarubicin. Use an effective method of birth control while being treated with this medicine.
- If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before you start your treatments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Fatigue, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeat
- Fever, chills, or sore throat
- Hives, rash, or severe itching
- Pain, redness, or swelling where the IV is given
- Rapid weight gain or swelling of hands, ankles, or feet
- Severe stomach pain, blood in stools
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea, stomach cramps
- Hair loss
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 8/4/2014
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