Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Blood Modifier Agent
Uses For This Medicine
Hemin injection is used to reduce the repeated attacks of porphyria (blood disorder) in some women during their menstrual periods after other treatments (eg, carbohydrate therapy) did not work.
Hemin is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For hemin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to hemin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hemin in children 16 years of age and older. Safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 16 years of age.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hemin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving hemin.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving hemin, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using hemin with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- St John's Wort
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of hemin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Kidney disease—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
- Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), severe—Avoid use with hemin. May increase the risk of bleeding.
Proper Use of This Medicine
Your doctor or other healthcare provider will give you hemin. Hemin is given through a needle placed into one of your veins. It should be given slowly, so the needle will have to stay in place for at least 30 minutes.
Before starting treatment with hemin, your doctor will test you for the presence of an acute porphyria attack. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure hemin is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Hemin may cause a vein inflammation where the needle was placed. Check with your doctor if you have bluish skin color, pain, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site, or swelling of the foot or leg.
Hemin injection may increase iron levels in the blood. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
Check with your doctor if you have a decrease in the amount of your urine. This may be a symptom of a kidney problem.
Hemin is made from donated human blood. Some human blood products have transmitted certain viruses to people who have received them, although the risk is low. Human donors and donated blood are both tested for viruses to keep the transmission risk low. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
This Medicine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Bluish color
- changes in skin color
- itching, pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin
- redness or pain at the catheter site
- swelling of the foot or leg tenderness
Incidence not known
- Back pain
- black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blood in the urine or stools
- dark urine
- decreased urination
- irregular heartbeat
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- stomach pain
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
- Dry, red, hot, or irritated skin
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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