epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol

Generic Name: epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol (e POE e tin BAY ta meth OX ee pol ee ETH il een GLYE kol)
Brand Name: Mircera

What is epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol?

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol is a man-made form of a protein that is normally produced by the kidneys to help your body produce red blood cells. This protein in your body may be reduced when you have kidney failure. When fewer red blood cells are produced, you can develop a condition called anemia.

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol is used to treat anemia (a lack of red blood cells in the body). This medication is not for treating anemia caused by cancer chemotherapy.

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol, if you have untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, seizures, a blood cell disorder, a blood clotting disorder, or a history of stroke, blood clots, or heart attack.

While using this medication, contact your doctor if you feel weak, tired, or short of breath, or if your skin looks pale. These may be signs that your body has stopped responding to this medication.

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Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol can increase your risk of life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke. Seek emergency medical help if you have symptoms of heart or circulation problems, such as: chest pain, sudden numbness on one side of the body, sudden headache or confusion, vision or speech problems, pain or swelling in your legs, or sudden cough and trouble breathing.

This medication may shorten remission time or survival time in people with certain types of cancer. Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol is not for treating anemia in chemotherapy patients. Tell your doctor if have cancer or are receiving chemotherapy.

Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used in giving the medicine.

It may take up to 6 weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, dialysis, and other medications. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol, if you have untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, congestive heart failure, or high blood pressure (hypertension);

  • a history of stroke, heart attack, or blood clots;

  • a blood cell or clotting disorder, such as sickle cell anemia or hemophilia;

  • cancer; or

  • epilepsy or another seizure disorder.

If you have any of the conditions listed above, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol.

This medication may shorten remission time or survival time in people with certain types of cancer. Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol is not for treating anemia in chemotherapy patients. Tell your doctor if have cancer or are receiving chemotherapy.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the instructions on your prescription label.

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol is usually given once every 2 weeks or once a month.

This medication is given as an injection under the skin of your upper arm, thigh, or lower stomach. It may also be given through a needle placed into a vein. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be shown how to use your medicine at home.

Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used in giving the medicine.

Use a different place on your skin each time you give yourself an injection. Your care provider will show you the places on your body where you can safely inject the medication. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

Do not shake the medication vial (bottle). Vigorous shaking can ruin the medicine. Do not draw your dose into a syringe until you are ready to give yourself an injection. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Keep each vial or prefilled syringe in its original container until you are ready to use it. Each vial (bottle) or prefilled syringe of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away any medicine that is leftover after you use a vial or syringe.

Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

To be sure this medication is helping your body produce red blood cells, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. You may also need to check your blood pressure during treatment. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

It may take up to 6 weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, dialysis, and other medications. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol.

Store this medication in the refrigerator, protected from light. Do not freeze or shake the medication.

If you need to store the medication at room temperature (77 degrees F or cooler), the vials will be good for up to 7 days. Prefilled syringes can be kept at room temperature for up to 30 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss more than one dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include chest pain, trouble breathing, sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, problems with speech or vision, fast heart rate, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid while using epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using this medication.

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol side effects

Contact your doctor if you feel weak, tired, or short of breath, or if your skin looks pale. These may be signs that your body has stopped responding to this medication.

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol can increase your risk of life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke. Seek emergency medical help if you have symptoms of heart or circulation problems, such as:

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;

  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;

  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, fast heart rate; or

  • pain or swelling in one or both legs.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives or itchy skin rash; difficulty breathing; fast heart rate; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • pain or burning when you urinate; or

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • stuffy nose, sore throat, cough;

  • headache;

  • muscle aches, back pain;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation; or

  • itching, redness, bruising, or swelling where you injected the medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Anemia Associated with Chronic Renal Failure:

1) For Patients Not Currently Treated with an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA):

Initial dose: 0.6 mcg/kg body weight administered as a single IV or subcutaneous injection once every two weeks

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol should be dosed to achieve and maintain hemoglobin between 10 and 12 g/dL. Once the hemoglobin has been maintained within this range, epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol may be administered once monthly using a dose that is twice that of the every two week dose and subsequently titrated as necessary.

2) For Patients Currently Treated with an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA):

Epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol can be administered once every two weeks or once monthly to patients whose hemoglobin has been stabilized by treatment with an ESA. The dose of epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol, given as a single IV or subcutaneous injection, should be based on the total weekly ESA dose at the time of conversion.

If the previous weekly epoetin alfa dose was less than 8000 units per week or the previous weekly darbepoetin alfa dose was less than 40 mcg per week, then the epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol dose would be 120 mcg per month or 60 mcg every two weeks.

If the previous weekly epoetin alfa dose was from 8000 units to 16,000 units per week or the previous weekly darbepoetin alfa dose was from 40 mcg to 80 mcg per week, then the epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol dose would be 200 mcg per month or 100 mcg every two weeks.

If the previous weekly epoetin alfa dose was greater than 16,000 units per week or the previous weekly darbepoetin alfa dose was greater than 80 mcg per week, then the epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol dose would be 360 mcg per month or 180 mcg every two weeks.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Anemia Associated with Chronic Renal Failure:

Dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

What other drugs will affect epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol?

There may be other drugs that can interact with epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

More about epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol

Consumer resources

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about epoetin beta-methoxy polyethylene glycol.
  • 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: 2007-12-19, 1:03:00 PM.

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