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Romiplostim (Subcutaneous)

roe-mi-PLOE-stim

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 10, 2020.

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Nplate

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution

Therapeutic Class: Hematopoietic

Pharmacologic Class: Thrombopoietin Receptor Agonist

Uses for romiplostim

Romiplostim injection is used to treat low blood platelet counts (thrombocytopenia) and help prevent bleeding in patients with a blood disorder called immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Romiplostim is used after a splenectomy (surgery to remove the spleen) or when other medicines (eg, steroids or immunoglobulins) have not worked well enough in adults or children 1 year of age and older with ITP for at least 6 months. Platelets help clot the blood. Romiplostim works by stimulating the bone marrow to produce more platelets.

Romiplostim is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.

Before using romiplostim

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 romiplostim, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to romiplostim 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.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of romiplostim injection in children 1 year of age and older with ITP for at least 6 months. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 1 year of age with ITP.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of romiplostim injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving romiplostim injection.

Breastfeeding

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. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

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 romiplostim. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bleeding problems or
  • Blood cancer or
  • Blood clots, or history of or
  • Bone marrow problems (eg, myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Liver disease (including cirrhosis), chronic—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious problems.
  • Thrombocytopenia caused by myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or conditions other than ITP—Should not be used in patients with this condition.

Proper use of romiplostim

A doctor or other trained health professional will give you romiplostim in a medical facility. It is given as a shot under your skin once a week.

Romiplostim comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Missed dose

Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Precautions while using romiplostim

It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits to make sure romiplostim is working properly. Blood tests will be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Do not stop receiving romiplostim without checking first with your doctor. Stopping romiplostim suddenly may cause the number of platelets to go below the number you had before you started receiving the medicine. This will increase your risk for bleeding. Your doctor will check your platelet levels and progress when you stop receiving the medicine.

If you receive romiplostim and you have a bone marrow problem called myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), it may worsen and become an acute leukemia (white blood cell cancer).Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this.

Romiplostim may increase your risk of developing blood clots. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have swelling and pain in your arms, legs, or stomach, chest pain, troubled breathing, loss of sensation, confusion, or problems with muscle control or speech.

Portal vein thrombosis (a blood clotting problem in the liver) may occur in patients receiving romiplostim, usually in those who have low platelet counts caused by chronic liver disease (eg, cirrhosis). Check with your doctor right away if you have abdominal or stomach pain, blood in the stool, fever, low back pain, yellow skin or eyes, or if you are vomiting blood.

Your condition can cause you to bleed too much when injured. Be extra careful to avoid injuries. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Gently brush and floss your teeth. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.

Romiplostim 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:

More common

  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • body aches or pain
  • change in hearing
  • chills
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing
  • ear congestion or pain
  • ear drainage
  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of voice
  • nausea
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • rapid weight gain
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • stomach pain
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • tightness of the chest
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • upper stomach pain

Incidence not known

  • Burning pain, warmth, swelling, or redness of the hands and feet
  • fast heartbeat
  • feeling of warmth
  • hives, itching, skin rash
  • hoarseness
  • irritation
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or genitals
  • redness of the skin
  • troubled swallowing

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:

More common

  • Belching
  • bruise
  • difficulty with moving
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • mouth or throat pain
  • muscle pains, cramps, or stiffness
  • pain in the shoulder, arms, or legs
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • trouble sleeping

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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