deferiprone

Generic Name: deferiprone (de FER i prone)
Brand Name: Ferriprox

What is deferiprone?

Deferiprone binds to iron and removes it from the blood stream.

Deferiprone is used to treat iron overload caused by blood transfusions.

Deferiprone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about deferiprone?

Do not use deferiprone if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

You should not use deferiprone if you are allergic to it.

Before taking deferiprone, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, congestive heart failure, a heart rhythm disorder, an electrolyte imbalance, a weak immune system, a history of Long QT syndrome, or if you take a diuretic (water pill).

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Deferiprone can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood will need to be tested weekly while you are taking this medication. Your treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cancer medicine, steroids, and medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with deferiprone. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, or sores in your mouth and throat.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking deferiprone?

You should not use deferiprone if you are allergic to it.

To make sure you can safely take deferiprone, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • congestive heart failure;

  • a heart rhythm disorder;

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);

  • a weak immune system;

  • a history of Long QT syndrome; or

  • if you take a diuretic (water pill).

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use deferiprone if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether deferiprone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking deferiprone.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I take deferiprone?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Deferiprone is usually taken 3 times per day. Take the first daily dose each morning, the second dose at mid-day, and the third dose in the evening.

Deferiprone may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.

Deferiprone may cause your urine to turn a reddish-brown color. This side effect is usually not harmful. Call your doctor if you also have upper stomach pain, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes).

Deferiprone can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood will need to be tested weekly while you are taking this medication. Your treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in your weight.

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include vision problems, drowsiness, weakness, uncontrolled movement in your hands, or limp feeling.

What should I avoid while taking deferiprone?

Avoid taking an antacid or mineral supplement within 4 hours before or 4 hours after you take deferiprone.

Avoid taking an herbal supplement containing milk thistle while you are taking deferiprone.

Do not use other iron chelating medicines such as deferasirox (Exjade) or deferoxamine (Desferal), unless your doctor has told you to.

Deferiprone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with deferiprone. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, or sores in your mouth and throat.

Stop using deferiprone and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • feeling like you might pass out; or

  • seizure (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild stomach pain or nausea;

  • vomiting, diarrhea;

  • joint pain, back pain;

  • increased appetite; or

  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Deferiprone dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Iron Overload:

Iron overload due to thalassemia: The recommended initial dose is 25 mg/kg, orally, three times daily for a total of 75 mg/kg/day.

What other drugs will affect deferiprone?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cancer medicine, steroids, and medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with deferiprone. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about deferiprone.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01. Revision Date: 2012-03-15, 1:19:01 AM.

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