Idarubicin - oral

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Idarubicin is used to treat cancer of the bone marrow or breast.

This medicine reduces the size of the tumour by stopping cancer cells from growing.

It may be used on its own or together with other cancer medicines.
How do I take this medicine?
Take Idarubicin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

You may take this with a light meal. Swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water. Do not open, suck, bite, or chew the capsule. Try to take it at the same time each day.

The dose of Idarubicin will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • severe kidney disease
  • severe liver disease
  • heart disease e.g. failure, recent heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm
  • uncontrolled infection
  • previous treatment with Idarubicin or similar medicines
as Idarubicin may not be suitable for you.

Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
What should I take note of while using this medicine?
It is important that you do not get pregnant or father a child while being treated with Idarubicin. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine. If you become pregnant while being treated with Idarubicin, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child.

Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. Do not receive any vaccinations without first asking your doctor.

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Routine tests (e.g. complete blood count, liver, kidney, and heart function tests) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
What side effects could I experience?
Idarubicin may cause any of the following side effects: hair loss, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, urine discolouration, and inflammation of mouth and lips.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • vomiting blood, bloody or black stool
  • signs of infection e.g. fever, chills, sore throat or mouth ulcer
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders (e.g. ciclosporin).

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.

As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired capsules to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the normal household waste.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on idarubicin - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2021 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
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