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Deferiprone

Generic Name: deferiprone (de FER i prone)
Brand Name: Ferriprox, Ferriprox Twice-A-Day

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Mar 30, 2020 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is deferiprone?

Deferiprone binds to iron and removes it from the bloodstream.

Deferiprone is used to treat iron overload caused by blood transfusions in people with certain hereditary red blood cell disorders (thalassemia syndrome).

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

Important Information

Both men and women using deferiprone should use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy. Women should keep using birth control for at least 6 months after the last dose. Men should keep using birth control for at least 3 months after the last dose.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, skin sores, or sores in your mouth and throat.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use deferiprone if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Both men and women using this medicine should use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy.

  • If you are a woman, you may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your last dose.

  • If you are a man, use effective birth control if your sex partner is able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 3 months after your last dose.

  • Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using deferiprone.

You should not breastfeed while using this medicine, and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose.

Deferiprone is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take deferiprone?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Deferiprone is usually taken 3 times per day. Take the first daily dose each morning, the second dose at mid-day, and the third dose in the evening.

Measure liquid medicine (oral solution) carefully. Use only the dose-measuring cup provided with the oral solution. Drink all of the medicine in the measuring cup. Then add about 1 tablespoon of water to the cup, swirl gently and drink. Hand-wash the measuring cup after each use.

Take with food if deferiprone upsets your stomach.

You will need frequent medical tests, and your next dose may be delayed based on the results.

Deferiprone doses are based on weight. Your dose needs may change if you gain or lose weight.

Store deferiprone tablets or liquid in the original container at room temperature. Protect from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Throw away any liquid medicine not used within 35 days after you first opened the bottle.

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 deferiprone?

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

Deferiprone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with deferiprone. Stop using deferiprone and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches;

  • flu symptoms;

  • skin sores; or

  • sores in your mouth and throat.

Further doses may be delayed until your infection clears up.

Deferiprone may cause your urine to turn a reddish-brown color. This side effect is usually not harmful. Call your doctor if you also have upper stomach pain, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes).

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.

Deferiprone dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Thalassemia:

Initial dose: 25 mg/kg, orally, 3 times a day (total daily dose: 75 mg/kg)
Maximum dose: 33 mg/kg, orally, 3 times a day (total daily dose: 99 mg/kg)

Comments:
-Round dose to the nearest 250 mg (half tablet).
-Tailor dose to patient response and therapeutic goals (maintenance or reduction of iron burden).
-Approval based on reduction in serum ferritin; there are no trials showing a direct treatment benefit (e.g. improved symptoms, functioning, or survival).
-Safety and efficacy have not been established for transfusional iron overload with other chronic anemias.

Use: Treatment of transfusional iron overload due to thalassemia syndromes when current chelation therapy is inadequate.

Usual Adult Dose for Iron Overload:

Initial dose: 25 mg/kg, orally, 3 times a day (total daily dose: 75 mg/kg)
Maximum dose: 33 mg/kg, orally, 3 times a day (total daily dose: 99 mg/kg)

Comments:
-Round dose to the nearest 250 mg (half tablet).
-Tailor dose to patient response and therapeutic goals (maintenance or reduction of iron burden).
-Approval based on reduction in serum ferritin; there are no trials showing a direct treatment benefit (e.g. improved symptoms, functioning, or survival).
-Safety and efficacy have not been established for transfusional iron overload with other chronic anemias.

Use: Treatment of transfusional iron overload due to thalassemia syndromes when current chelation therapy is inadequate.

What other drugs will affect deferiprone?

If you take any of the following medicines, take your deferiprone dose 4 hours before or 4 hours after you take the other medicine:

  • an antiacid that contains aluminum;

  • a medicine or supplement that contains iron (including ferric citrate, Feosol, Fergon, Ferrocite, Hemocyte, and others; or

  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain iron or zinc.

Avoid taking an herbal supplement containing milk thistle.

Other drugs may affect deferiprone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. 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.