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Anemia Drugs May Not Boost Kidney Patients' Well-Being: Study

Posted 16 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 – The pricey anemia drugs often given to people with chronic kidney disease may make no difference in how they feel day to day, a new research review confirms. Researchers said the study results back up current guidelines on how to use the drugs, called erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs). These include the injection drugs marketed under the names Procrit, Epogen and Aranesp. Patients may still benefit from the medications because they reduce the need for blood transfusions to treat severe anemia, said Dr. Navdeep Tangri, senior researcher on the study. "But this should close the book on the idea that these drugs help with exhaustion and improve patients' quality of life," said Tangri, an attending doctor at Seven Oaks General Hospital Renal Program in Manitoba, Canada. However, one expert argued that while on average, that is true, some patients do feel ... Read more

Related support groups: Anemia, Renal Failure, Chronic Kidney Disease, Aranesp, Peritoneal dialysis, Procrit, Epogen, Renal Osteodystrophy, Darbepoetin Alfa, Mircera, Epoetin Beta-Methoxy Polyethylene Glycol, Anemia Associated with Chronic Disease, Peginesatide, Hyperphosphatemia of Renal Failure, Epoetin Alfa, Omontys

FDA Medwatch Alert: Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) In Chronic Kidney Disease: Drug Safety Communication - Modified Dosing Recommendations

Posted 27 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

Epoetin alfa (marketed as Epogen and Procrit) and darbepoetin alfa (marketed as Aranesp) ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that new, modified recommendations for more conservative dosing of Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have been approved to improve the safe use of these drugs. FDA has made these recommendations because of data showing increased risks of cardiovascular events with ESAs in this patient population. The new dosing recommendations are based on clinical trials showing that using ESAs to target a hemoglobin level of greater than 11 g/dL in patients with CKD provides no additional benefit than lower target levels, and increases the risk of experiencing serious adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke. BACKGROUND: ESAs treat certain types of anemia by stimulating the bone marrow to produce ... Read more

Related support groups: Aranesp, Procrit, Epogen, Darbepoetin Alfa, Epoetin Alfa

FDA Urges Reduced Doses for Anemia Drugs

Posted 25 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 24 – Doctors should use the anemia drugs Procrit, Epogen and Aranesp more cautiously in patients with chronic kidney disease, U.S. health officials said Friday. The new warning comes in response to data showing that patients on these drugs face a higher risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart failure, stroke, blood clots and death, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. "FDA is recommending new, more conservative dosing recommendations for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents [ESAs] for patients with chronic kidney disease," Dr. Robert C. Kane, acting deputy director for safety in the division of hematology products, said during a news conference Friday. These recommendations are being added to the drug label's black box warning and sections of the package inserts, he said. This is not the first time health risks have been linked to these anemia ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Kidney Disease, Aranesp, Procrit, Epogen, Darbepoetin Alfa, Epoetin Alfa

Use Anemia Drugs for Cancer Patients With Caution, Experts Say

Posted 26 Oct 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 26 – Physicians need to use caution when giving a class of drugs called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) to cancer patients who have anemia caused by chemotherapy, according to new medical guidelines. And with rare exceptions, ESAs should not be given to cancer patients who are not receiving chemotherapy, according to joint guidelines issued by the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. ESAs (marketed as Procrit, Epogen and Aranesp) stimulate the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells but are associated with shorter survival and increased risk of blood clots and tumor progression, the guidelines noted. However, ESAs reduce the need for red blood cell transfusions, which carry a risk of serious infection and adverse reactions in the immune system. The guidelines offer specific recommendations on the use of ESAs. Among ... Read more

Related support groups: Aranesp, Procrit, Epogen, Darbepoetin Alfa, Mircera, Epoetin Beta-Methoxy Polyethylene Glycol, Anemia - Chemotherapy Induced, Epoetin Alfa

Anemia Drugs Could Pose Threat to Some Kidney Patients

Posted 15 Sep 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15 – When people with chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes take certain anemia drugs, the level of hemoglobin cells in their blood should go up. But a new study finds that if those levels don't increase by much, these "poor responders" experience a significantly increased risk of heart problems and death. Reporting in the Sept. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a team of international researchers says that those who had the worst response to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) – drugs that include Aranesp, Epogen and Procrit – had a 31 percent rise in the risk of cardiovascular complications and a 41 percent increased risk of death. "For people who have chronic kidney disease, I think this is further evidence that we have to be extremely cautious when we use ESAs. There is a potential for harm. The patients who respond poorly are the ones ... Read more

Related support groups: Aranesp, Procrit, Epogen, Darbepoetin Alfa, Epoetin Alfa

Anemia Drugs Hold Dangers for Kidney Patients

Posted 5 May 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 5 – The powerful drugs used to fight anemia caused by kidney failure increase the risk for cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, a major study has found. A meta-analysis of 27 trials, which included more than 10,000 people who were given the drugs, known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), found that those who took the drugs at the highest dosages had a 51 percent increased risk for stroke and a 33 percent increased risk for thrombosis, or blockage of an artery. The study, by an international group of experts, was published online May 3 in Annals of Internal Medicine. The increased risk for death (9 percent) and serious cardiovascular events such as heart attacks (15 percent) did not reach statistical significance, the analysis found. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has acted to control the use of ESAs marketed as Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp, which ... Read more

Related support groups: Aranesp, Procrit, Epogen, Mircera, Darbepoetin Alfa, Epoetin Beta-Methoxy Polyethylene Glycol, Epoetin Alfa

For Some on Dialysis, Anemia Drugs Pose Risks

Posted 2 Mar 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 2 – Powerful drugs that treat the anemia caused by kidney failure yield mixed results, depending on the severity of the anemia, a new study has shown. People on dialysis with severe anemia, according to the study, tend to live longer when given high doses of the drugs – known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and marketed as Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp. But it found that the drugs increase the risk for dying prematurely among people with mild anemia. ESAs, which increase the production of red blood cells, are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the anemia caused by cancer chemotherapy and AIDS drugs as well as kidney failure. But safety concerns have limited their use, especially among cancer patients. Over the next few months, the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plan to review the use of ESAs in the treatment ... Read more

Related support groups: Aranesp, Procrit, Epogen, Anemia Associated with Chronic Renal Failure, Darbepoetin Alfa, Mircera, Epoetin Beta-Methoxy Polyethylene Glycol, Epoetin Alfa

Anemia Drug May Raise Stroke Risk in Kidney Patients

Posted 1 Dec 2009 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Oct. 31 – A drug designed to fight anemia appears to double the risk of stroke in patients with diabetes and kidney disease without substantially improving their quality of life, a new study finds. Darbepoetin alfa, marketed as Aranesp and known as an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA), is often prescribed for diabetic patients with chronic kidney disease and mild anemia. "The benefits we assumed we would have by treating anemia were less striking and the risks were more striking," said lead researcher Dr. Marc A. Pfeffer, a professor of medicine in the cardiovascular division of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "This provides new data for doctors and patients to make their own risk-benefit assessment," he said. "There was a perception that treating anemia would make people feel so much better that we'll take risks, but the benefit in quality of life was not as ... Read more

Related support groups: Aranesp, Darbepoetin Alfa

Anemia Drugs May Cause Deadly Blood Clots

Posted 1 Dec 2009 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 10 – New research on cancer patients adds to the controversy surrounding anemia drugs such as Procrit and Aranesp, concluding that they increase the risk of venous thromboembolism, potentially fatal blood clots. These drugs, called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), are commonly prescribed to fight anemia associated with chemotherapy and chronic kidney disease. Recent studies have linked them with increased risk of death, stroke and new cancers. "These drugs hit the market in the mid-1990s, and by 2002, 50 percent of patients on chemotherapy were receiving them," said lead researcher Dr. Dawn Hershman, co-director of the breast program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Initial testing of these drugs was done on only 12 weeks of use, she noted. "Right from the ... Read more

Related support groups: Aranesp, Procrit, Epogen, Darbepoetin Alfa, Epoetin Alfa

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Anemia Associated with Chronic Renal Failure, Anemia - Chemotherapy Induced

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Aranesp

Darbepoetin Alfa Patient Information at Drugs.com