Epirubicin Hydrochloride (Page 5 of 8)


7.1 Cardioactive Compounds

Do not administer epirubicin in combination with other cardiotoxic agents unless the patient’s cardiac function is closely monitored. Patients receiving epirubicin after stopping treatment with other cardiotoxic agents, especially those with long half-lives such as trastuzumab, may also be at an increased risk of developing cardiotoxicity [see Dosage and Administration (2) and Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Concomitant use of epirubicin hydrochloride injection with other cardioactive compounds that could cause heart failure (e.g., calcium channel blockers), requires close monitoring of cardiac function throughout treatment.

7.2 Cimetidine

Cimetidine increases the exposure to epirubicin [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Stop Cimetidine during treatment with epirubicin hydrochloride injection.

7.3 Other Cytotoxic Drugs

Epirubicin hydrochloride injection used in combination with other cytotoxic drugs may show on-treatment additive toxicity, especially hematologic and gastrointestinal effects.


The administration of epirubicin immediately prior to or after paclitaxel increased the systemic exposure of epirubicin, epirubicinol and 7-deoxydoxorubicin aglycone [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


The administration of epirubicin immediately prior to or after docetaxel did not have an effect on the systemic exposure of epirubicin, but increased the systemic exposure of epirubicinol and 7-deoxydoxorubicin aglycone [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

7.4 Radiation Therapy

There are few data regarding the coadministration of radiation therapy and epirubicin hydrochloride injection. In adjuvant trials of epirubicin hydrochloride injection-containing CEF-120 or FEC-100 chemotherapies, breast irradiation was delayed until after chemotherapy was completed. This practice resulted in no apparent increase in local breast cancer recurrence relative to published accounts in the literature. A small number of patients received epirubicin hydrochloride injection-based chemotherapy concomitantly with radiation therapy but had chemotherapy interrupted in order to avoid potential overlapping toxicities. It is likely that use of epirubicin hydrochloride injection with radiotherapy may sensitize tissues to the cytotoxic actions of irradiation. Administration of epirubicin hydrochloride injection after previous radiation therapy may induce an inflammatory recall reaction at the site of the irradiation.

7.5 Concomitant Therapies-Hepatic Function

Epirubicin is extensively metabolized by the liver. Changes in hepatic function induced by concomitant therapies may affect epirubicin metabolism, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic efficacy, and/or toxicity.

7.6 Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

There are no known interactions between epirubicin hydrochloride injection and laboratory tests.


8.1 Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category D. See ‘Warnings and Precautions’ section.

Epirubicin hydrochloride injection can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Administration of 0.8 mg/kg/day intravenously of epirubicin to rats (about 0.04 times the maximum recommended single human dose on a body surface area basis) during Days 5 to 15 of gestation was embryotoxic (increased resorptions and post-implantation loss) and caused fetal growth retardation (decreased body weight), but was not teratogenic up to this dose. Administration of 2 mg/kg/day intravenously of epirubicin to rats (about 0.1 times the maximum recommended single human dose on a body surface area basis) on Days 9 and 10 of gestation was embryotoxic (increased late resorptions, post-implantation losses, and dead fetuses; and decreased live fetuses), retarded fetal growth (decreased body weight), and caused decreased placental weight. This dose was also teratogenic, causing numerous external (anal atresia, misshapen tail, abnormal genital tubercle), visceral (primarily gastrointestinal, urinary, and cardiovascular systems), and skeletal (deformed long bones and girdles, rib abnormalities, irregular spinal ossification) malformations. Administration of intravenous epirubicin to rabbits at doses up to 0.2 mg/kg/day (about 0.02 times the maximum recommended single human dose on a body surface area basis) during Days 6 to 18 of gestation was not embryotoxic or teratogenic, but a maternally toxic dose of 0.32 mg/kg/day increased abortions and delayed ossification. Administration of a maternally toxic intravenous dose of 1 mg/kg/day epirubicin to rabbits (about 0.1 times the maximum recommended single human dose on a body surface area basis) on Days 10 to 12 of gestation induced abortion, but no other signs of embryofetal toxicity or teratogenicity were observed. When doses up to 0.5 mg/kg/day epirubicin were administered to rat dams from Day 17 of gestation to Day 21 after delivery (about 0.025 times the maximum recommended single human dose on a body surface area basis), no permanent changes were observed in the development, functional activity, behavior, or reproductive performance of the offspring.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of epirubicin hydrochloride injection in pregnant women. Two pregnancies have been reported in women taking epirubicin. A 34-year-old woman, 28 weeks pregnant at her diagnosis of breast cancer, was treated with cyclophosphamide and epirubicin every 3 weeks for 3 cycles. She received the last dose at 34 weeks of pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby at 35 weeks. A second 34-year-old woman with breast cancer metastatic to the liver was randomized to FEC-50 but was removed from study because of pregnancy. She experienced a spontaneous abortion. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)].

8.3 Nursing Mothers

Epirubicin was excreted into the milk of rats treated with 0.50 mg/kg/day of epirubicin during peri- and postnatal periods. It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs, including other anthracyclines, are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from epirubicin hydrochloride injection, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of epirubicin hydrochloride injection have not been established in pediatric patients. Pediatric patients may be at greater risk for anthracycline-induced acute manifestations of cardiotoxicity and for chronic CHF. The pharmacokinetics of epirubicin in pediatric patients have not been evaluated.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Although a lower starting dose of epirubicin hydrochloride injection was not used in trials in elderly female patients, particular care should be taken in monitoring toxicity when epirubicin hydrochloride injection is administered to female patients greater than or equal to 70 years of age [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.6 Hepatic Impairment

Epirubicin is eliminated by both hepatic metabolism and biliary excretion and clearance is reduced in patients with hepatic dysfunction. Do not treat patients with severe hepatic impairment with epirubicin hydrochloride injection. Reduce the starting dose for patients with less severe hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.7 Renal Impairment

No significant alterations in the pharmacokinetics of epirubicin or its major metabolite, epirubicinol, have been observed in patients with serum creatinine less than 5 mg/dL. Consider lower doses in patients with severe renal impairment (serum creatinine greater than 5 mg/dL), as a reduction in plasma clearance was reported in these patients [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Patients on dialysis have not been studied.

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