Skip to Content

Deferasirox

Generic Name: deferasirox (de FER a sir ox)
Brand Name: Exjade, Jadenu, Jadenu Sprinkle

Medically reviewed on May 29, 2018

What is deferasirox?

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

Deferasirox is used to treat iron overload caused by blood transfusions in adults and children at least 2 years old.

Deferasirox is also used to treat chronic iron overload syndrome caused by a genetic blood disorder in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.

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

Important Information

You should not use this medicine if you have severe kidney or liver disease, advanced cancer, a blood cell or bone marrow disorder, or low levels of platelets in your blood.

Deferasirox can harm your liver or kidneys. Call your doctor at once if you have swelling, rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, pain in your upper stomach, loss of appetite, pain in your side or lower back, little or no urinating, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Deferasirox may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding. Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of stomach bleeding such as bloody or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • severe liver or kidney disease;

  • advanced cancer;

  • a bone marrow disorder; or

  • low levels of platelets in your blood.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • anemia (low red blood cells);

  • cancer (especially blood cell cancer such as leukemia);

  • a stomach ulcer;

  • stomach or intestinal bleeding;

  • vision or hearing problems; or

  • a weak immune system caused by disease (such as cancer, HIV, or AIDS), or by receiving steroids, chemotherapy, or radiation.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Deferasirox can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using non hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy.

You should not breast-feed while you are taking deferasirox.

How should I take deferasirox?

Your doctor may perform certain tests to make sure you do not have conditions that would prevent you from safely using deferasirox.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take this medicine at the same time every day.

Take Exjade on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before eating.

You may take Jadenu on an empty stomach or with a small low-fat meal.

Swallow the Jadenu tablet whole with a full glass of water. If you cannot swallow the Jadenu tablet whole, you may crush the tablet and mix it with yogurt, applesauce, or other soft food.

To take Jadenu Sprinkles, open the packet and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of soft food.

After mixing a crushed tablet or sprinkles with soft food, swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use.

Do not chew or crush the Exjade dispersible tablet, and do not swallow it whole. Place the tablet into a glass of apple juice, orange juice, or water and allow the tablet to disperse in the liquid. The tablet will not dissolve completely. Drink this mixture right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more liquid to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

If you take less than 1000 milligrams (1 gram) daily, dissolve the Exjade dispersible tablet in about one-half cup of apple juice, orange juice, or water. If you take more than 1000 milligrams daily, dissolve the tablet in about 1 cup of apple juice, orange juice, or water.

You may need frequent blood tests. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be checked every 6 months, and you may need a liver biopsy.

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while taking deferasirox?

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

Do not take antacids that contain aluminum, such as Amphojel, Gaviscon, Maalox, Mi-Acid, Mylanta, Rulox, and others.

Deferasirox may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Deferasirox side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Stop using deferasirox and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • problems with vision or hearing;

  • kidney problems--little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, mouth sores, skin sores, pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath; or

  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

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)

What other drugs will affect deferasirox?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Many drugs can affect deferasirox. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

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

Hide