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Eribulin 647

Information sheet on eribulin


This leaflet provides information about a type of chemotherapy called eribulin. It will explain what this is, and when and how it will be given. It will also tell you about the possible side effects. Contact telephone numbers and details of how to get more information about eribulin are at the end of this leaflet.


This leaflet should be read alongside the ' General information for patients receiving chemotherapy' leaflet. If you have not received this leaflet, ask your nurse for a copy.


What is eribulin?

Chemotherapy is eribulin which is given in a drip.


Why am I given eribulin?

Your doctor has prescribed this chemotherapy because it has been found to be effective in treating the type of cancer you have.


How often will I receive eribulin?

For this treatment to be most effective, it will be administered at specific intervals of time. These are called circles. Each cycle includes giving chemotherapy on day 1 and day 8 of the cycle. One cycle lasts 3 weeks. Your doctor will discuss the exact number of cycles you will receive.


How often will I see the specialist team?

You will see the specialist team before each cycle. You will have regular blood tests, and we will check how you are feeling and discuss any problems you have. This is so we can check how the chemotherapy is affecting you. If your blood results are satisfactory, your chemotherapy will be prescribed.


How long will I be in hospital?

Your treatment will usually be on a different day to your clinic appointment. The chemotherapy treatment takes about 30 minutes. You should allow an extra 30 minutes for your first treatment.


Can I bring friends and relatives with me ?

You are welcome to bring someone to stay with you during your treatment. There is not much space, so there is usually no room for more than one person. Treatment areas are not suitable for young children.


How will my chemotherapy be given?

Eribulin is given by a drip into a vein in the back of your hand or arm. Alternatively, we may suggest that a small tube called a PICC is inserted into a large vein in your upper arm. This tube will remain in place throughout your treatment. If necessary, your doctor or nurse will discuss this with you.


We have a leaflet that tells you more about PICC lines, if you need it.


What are the possible side effects?

A number of possible side effects can occur. The doctor, nurses and pharmacists can give you advice or answer any questions you may have.



Nausea and vomiting are uncommon these days, as we will give you anti-sickness medications which are usually very effective. If you are sick more than once in 24 hours despite taking regular anti-sickness medication, contact Velindre Cancer Centre. The phone number is at the end of the leaflet.


Hair Loss

Your hair may thin or you may lose your hair with this chemotherapy. This is only temporary, and your hair will grow back when you finish your chemotherapy. We can arrange a wig for you if you want one; ask your nurse for more information. We can also give you a leaflet on how to cope with your hair loss.



Eribulin can reduce the amount of platelets that are produced (which help the blood to clot). This will increase your risk of bruising or bleeding. If you notice any bruises on your body or any bleeding, for example you are bleeding from your nose or your gums are bleeding, you should contact Velindre Cancer Center for advice. The phone number is at the end of the leaflet.



Effects on your nerves

Sometimes, eribulin can cause nerve damage in your hands and feet. If you experience some numbness or changes in sensation, such as tingling or pins and needles, it is important that you tell your doctor, so that we can change your treatment before this side effect occurs permanently.


Myalgia (muscle pain)

Some patients may experience myalgia, which is pain in the muscles or joints. Sometimes, this can be severe, but it will only last for a few days. If you already have painkillers at home, you may find that they relieve the pain. If this does not work, contact Velindre Cancer Centre. The phone number is at the end of the leaflet.


Sore mouth

Your mouth may become sore, or you may notice small ulcers. Follow the advice on looking after your mouth in the general chemotherapy leaflet. Your doctor may give you a prescription for mouthwash or medication, to prevent or clear any infection.

Sometimes, patients' mouths become dry; you can manage this by avoiding dry foods, for example, adding sauces and gravies to food.



You are at greater risk of infection, as this treatment can reduce the amount of white blood cells that help fight infections.

If you get an infection while your white blood cells are low, you are at risk of sepsis, which can be life-threatening.

Contact Velindre Cancer Center immediately if you develop any signs of infection, for example flu-like symptoms or a temperature above 37.5° centigrade, or a temperature below 35.5°. The phone number is at the end of the leaflet.


Effects on your bowel

This treatment can cause constipation or diarrhoea.

  • If you are constipated, it is important that you increase the amount of fluid you drink. You may need working medicine. You can talk to us or your GP for advice.


  • If you have diarrhoea, it is important that you drink plenty of fluids. Medicine is available to control diarrhoea. However, if you go to the toilet four or more times in 24 hours, which is more than what is normal for you, contact Velindre Cancer Center immediately. The phone number is at the end of the leaflet.


Fatigue and fatigue

You may feel more tired than usual. It's important to listen to your body and rest if you need to, but do your normal activities if you feel like you can do this. For some people, a little light exercise can be beneficial, as well as rest.


Blood clots

Being diagnosed with cancer can increase your risk of developing a blood clot (thrombosis), and cancer treatment can further increase this risk. It is important to tell your doctor straight away if you have symptoms such as pain, redness and swelling in your leg, or if you suffer from shortness of breath and chest pain


Blood clots can be very serious. However, most clots can usually be treated successfully with blood thinners. Your doctor or nurse can give you more information.


Other side effects


Sometimes, but not very often, some people who receive eribulin will experience breathing problems. If you notice that you are short of breath or start to have a cough or any breathing problems, contact your doctor or specialist nurse. You will also be monitored at regular visits to the clinic.


Some people may have problems with headaches. Try taking the painkillers you would normally take for a headache. If pain relievers do not help or if you have any problems with your vision or feel dizzy, use your chemotherapy pager, the phone number is at the end of the leaflet, and tell your doctor or your nurse at the clinic too.


If you have a heart condition or are taking any heart medicine, tell your doctor before you start your treatment, as Eribulin may affect your heart.


Some patients experience indigestion and/or pain or wind in the upper abdomen. If this is causing you problems, call Velindre Cancer Centre, and report this the next time you are at the clinic.

Your fingers and toes may become discolored and wrinkled too..


If you notice that your eyes are red and painful, this could be due to an infection: see your GP, who will be able to prescribe medication if necessary.


It is important that you do not become pregnant or become a father while you are having chemotherapy treatment, as chemotherapy may harm the unborn baby. We do not recommend that you breastfeed if you are given Eribulin.


Sometimes, cancer drugs can have very serious side effects, which sometimes, but not very often, can be life-threatening. It is important to let Velindre Cancer Center know if you are worried about any side effects.


Is it okay for me to take other medicines?

If you are taking other medicines, tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

There are many medicines that you may have to avoid, discuss your medicines with your doctor, and do not take over the counter medicines without advice.

Note: There may be serious reactions with some medicines.


Patient information leaflets from manufacturers

Felindre leaflets give information about common and very common side effects: if you would like more information about the less common side effects, read the manufacturers' patient information leaflets, available from the Felindre pharmacy, and/or on the internet at . Sometimes, patients can have trouble reading these leaflets. Ask if you would like a copy from your doctor or from Velindre pharmacy.


Contact telephone numbers:


Felindre Cancer Center 029 2061 5888

Ask for the treatment helpline if you get sick at home and need immediate advice at any time of the day or night. For example, you should call in the case of:

  • If you vomit more than once over a 24 hour period
  • If you have a temperature of 37.5°C or more
  • If you have diarrhoea


Pharmacy 029 2061 5888 (ext 6223)

Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm for inquiries about your medicines


Macmillan freephone helpline 0808 808 0000


Cancer helpline 0808 808 1010

Tenovus freephone


This leaflet has been written by health professionals. The information is based on evidence, and has been approved by doctors, nurses and patients. It is reviewed and updated every two years.