Breast Cancer Home > Ellence

Ellence is a medicine that is licensed to treat breast cancer. The drug, which is available by prescription and given through an IV, is usually used in combination with other chemotherapy medications to help kill cancer cells. The most common side effects seen with this medication include nausea and vomiting, hair loss, and leukopenia.

What Is Ellence?

Ellence® (epirubicin hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer. It is part of a group of chemotherapy medications called anthracyclines. Ellence is used in combination with other chemotherapy medications (in a chemotherapy "regimen").
(Click Ellence Uses for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Ellence?

Ellence is currently made by Pfizer, Inc.

How Does Ellence Work?

Ellence is part of a group of medications called anthracyclines. Anthracyclines kill cells (including cancer cells and normal cells) by working in several ways. Ellence binds to DNA in cells, changing the shape of the DNA and causing other problems with the DNA. The medication can damage the membranes (outer coating) of cells and may damage other parts of cells as well.
While Ellence can kill both healthy and cancerous cells, it has a greater effect on cells that are multiplying rapidly. Generally, cancer cells multiply more rapidly than healthy cells and are, therefore, more affected by Ellence.

When and How to Take It

General considerations for when and how to take the medicine include the following:
  • Ellence is given through an IV.
  • Most people receive their injection at their healthcare provider's office, a hospital, or at an "infusion center."
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work as well if you stop taking it before your healthcare provider recommends.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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