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Generic name: defibrotidede-FYE-broe-tide ]
Drug class: Miscellaneous coagulation modifiers

Medically reviewed by on Jul 5, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Defitelio?

Defitelio works by increasing the breakdown of clots in the blood.

Defitelio is used to treat severe veno-occlusive disease (VOD) in adults and children who have undergone chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant. VOD happens when blood vessels in the liver become blocked, which decreases blood flow and can lead to liver damage.

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


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Defitelio if you are allergic to it, or if:

To make sure Defitelio is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder.

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

It is not known whether defibrotide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is Defitelio given?

Defitelio is injected into a vein through an IV. This medicine must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can last at least 2 hours.

You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used.

Defitelio is usually given for at least 21 days, to a maximum of 60 days if symptoms have not fully improved.

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Defitelio must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.

Do not mix Defitelio with other medicines in the same IV line. Follow your doctor's instructions about flushing your IV line after each injection.

Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

After mixing Defitelio with a diluent, store in the refrigerator and use within 24 hours.

Mixed medicine must be used within 4 hours if you keep it at room temperature.

Each single-use vial (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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 receiving Defitelio?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Defitelio side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding;

  • blood in your urine or stools;

  • confusion, headaches;

  • vision problems, slurred speech; or

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.

Your treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

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.

What other drugs will affect Defitelio?

Other drugs may interact with defibrotide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now 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.