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Dr. Adem Günes & Dr. Abdulla El-Hossami


In this Idarubicin fact sheet, you’ll get to know about the precautions, usage, possible side effects, and the types of cancer that you can treat with this chemo drug.

It Is Used To Treat These Cancers
(Cancer types that you can treat with this chemo drug)

  • Leukemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome

How To Take it
(What are the forms of application)

  • Intravenous (infusion time varies depending on the protocol)
  • Vesicant drug

(Things that you should avoid)

  • Inform your doctor if you have any heart problems: Anthracyclins have a higher risk of heart toxicity (usually dependent on the cumulative dosage)
  • Avoid taking aspirin
  • Avoid pregnancy
  • Avoid direct exposition to sunlight (patients should use high SPF sun blockers and/or clothing)

Mechanism of Action of Idarubicin
(How does the drug affect cancer cells)
Idarubicin belongs to the Topoisomerase inhibitors (Anthracyclin antibiotics subgroup). It inhibits the macromolecular biosynthesis, which inhibit the progression of the topoisomerase II protein. This mechanism prevents the DNA from being resealed after transcription and consequentially cell replication.

Drug Interactions
(Medicine that can affect the chemo drug negatively)

  • Aspirin
  • Lorazepam
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Co-trimoxazole
  • Levofloxacin
  • Omeprazole
  • Enoxaparin
  • Neupogen

Reproductive Concerns
(Things that are related to your sexual health)

  • Pregnancy prevention during and until 6 months after the treatment (men and women)
  • Stop breastfeeding
  • Consider sperm freezing if willing to bear children

Possible Side Effects
(Unpleasant effects of the treatment)

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Hair loss
  • Heart toxicity
  • Liver and kidney toxicity
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Low white blood cells: raise the risk of bacterial infection
  • Low red blood cells: can lead to fatigue, general lack of interest and drive to be active
  • Low platelets: can lead to bleeding (nose, gums) and in extreme cases to internal bleeding (intestinal, brain, joints)
  • Infertility
  • Urine can become red after the infusion without any prejudice to the body (not the same as blood in the urine)

When To Call the doctor
(Emergency that needs professional support)

  • Vomiting (>4 times in 24h): can lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte disbalance
  • Diarrhea (>4 episodes in 24h): can also lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte disbalance
  • Black stool: can be a sign of intestinal bleeding
  • Blood in the urine
  • Extreme fatigue: can be a sign of severe anemia (low blood cells)
  • Fever > 37,8°C

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