Generic Name: deferiprone (de-FER-i-prone)
Brand Name: Ferriprox
Deferiprone may cause low white blood cell levels, which can lead to serious and possibly fatal infections. White blood cell counts will be performed before starting deferiprone and while you take it. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments. Contact your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, persistent sore throat or cough, mouth sores, flu-like symptoms, difficult or painful urination).
Deferiprone is used for:
Treating high levels of iron in the blood caused by blood transfusions in certain patients with the blood disease thalassemia.
Deferiprone is an iron-chelating agent. It works by binding to the extra iron in the blood and removing it from the body.
Do NOT use deferiprone if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in deferiprone
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using deferiprone:
Some medical conditions may interact with deferiprone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are able to become pregnant
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (QT prolongation or long-QT syndrome) or other heart problems (eg, enlarged heart, heart failure, slow heartbeat), low blood potassium or magnesium levels, kidney or liver problems, or low white blood cell counts
- if you have another type of anemia
- if you take any medicine that may cause low white blood cell counts. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines may cause this effect.
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with deferiprone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Diclofenac, other iron-chelating medicines (eg, deferoxamine), milk thistle, or probenecid because they may increase the risk of deferiprone's side effects
- Diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) or any medicine that may increase the risk of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (prolonged QT interval). Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines may increase the risk of this type of irregular heartbeat.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if deferiprone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use deferiprone:
Use deferiprone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Deferiprone comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get deferiprone refilled.
- Take deferiprone by mouth with or without food, as directed by your doctor. Taking it with meals may reduce nausea.
- Take deferiprone on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
- If you also take medicines or supplements that contain iron, aluminum, or zinc (eg, certain antacids), do not take them within at least 4 hours before or after taking deferiprone. Check with your doctor if you have questions.
- If you miss a dose of deferiprone, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use deferiprone.
Important safety information:
- Do NOT change your dose of deferiprone without checking with your doctor.
- Deferiprone may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- Deferiprone may discolor the urine a reddish/brown color. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
- Women who may become pregnant should use an effective form of birth control while taking deferiprone. Check with your doctor if you have questions about effective birth control.
- Lab tests, including liver function, blood ferritin and iron levels, blood zinc levels, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you take deferiprone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use deferiprone with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Deferiprone should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Deferiprone may cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking deferiprone while you are pregnant. It is not known if deferiprone is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking deferiprone.
Possible side effects of deferiprone:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Diarrhea; increased appetite; joint pain; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); dizziness or light-headedness; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; seizures; symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, persistent sore throat or cough, flu-like symptoms, difficult or painful urination).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include decreased coordination; double vision; slow or abnormal movements; uncontrolled eye movements.Proper storage of deferiprone:
Store deferiprone at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep deferiprone out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about deferiprone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Deferiprone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take deferiprone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about deferiprone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to deferiprone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using deferiprone.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.