Idarubicin: A second-generation anthracycline

S. M. Fields, J. M. Koeller

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    14 Scopus citations


    Because of its in vitro activity in leukemic cell lines and Phase I studies of acute leukemia, Phase II and III clinical trials with idarubicin hydrochloride were conducted in patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia or acute nonlymphocytic leukemia. In the Phase III comparative trials between the combinations of idarubicin and cytarabine and daunorubicin hydrochloride and cytarabine, the idarubicin/cytarabine combination resulted in significantly greater complete remission rates and longer overall survival in two of three studies conducted in the US. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration approved intravenous idarubicin with a Class 1A rating in September 1990 for use in combination with other antileukemic drugs (e.g. cytarabine) for the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia in adults. The recommended dose of idarubicin is 12 mg/m2 daily for three days by slow intravenous injection in combination with cytarabine. Although idarubicin causes myelosuppression similar to that described with daunorubicin, the incidence of cardiotoxicity in animal models is lower. Idarubicin also has the advantage of oral administration, but the oral formulation of the drug remains investigational. The use of idarubicin in pediatric patients also remains to be established.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)505-517
    Number of pages13
    JournalDICP, Annals of Pharmacotherapy
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
    • Pharmacology (medical)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Idarubicin: A second-generation anthracycline'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this