Breast Cancer Home > Ellence Side Effects
Nausea and vomiting, leukopenia, and hair loss are the most common side effects reported with Ellence. Side effects that are much less common but potentially serious include bloody stool, severe mouth sores, and an irregular heart rhythm. Be sure to seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of these serious Ellence side effects.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Ellence® (epirubicin hydrochloride); however, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate Ellence quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Ellence. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Ellence side effects with you.)
Ellence has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which a group of people taking the drug have side effects documented. In these studies, the most common side effects of Ellence (when used in combination other chemotherapy medications) included:
- Hair loss -- in up to 95.5 percent of people (see Epirubicin and Hair Loss)
- Nausea and vomiting -- up to 92.4 percent (see Chemotherapy and Nausea)
- Leukopenia (low levels of certain white blood cells called leukocytes) -- up to 80.3 percent.
- Neutropenia (low levels of a different type of white blood cells called neutrophils) -- up to 80.3 percent
- Anemia -- up to 72.2 percent (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
- Absence of menstrual period (amenorrhea) -- up to 71.8 percent
- Sores in the mouth or other parts of the digestive tract -- up to 58.5 percent (see Mouth and Gum Problems During Chemotherapy).
Ellence often causes discoloration of the urine, which may look like blood in your urine. However, this is normal and is not dangerous.
Other common Ellence side effects, occurring in 2 to 50 percent of people, included:
- Low platelet levels in the blood (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy)
- Hot flashes
- Lethargy (see Chemotherapy and Fatigue)
- Diarrhea (see Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhea)
- Appetite loss
- Eye irritation or problems
- Skin changes.