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Eltrombopag

Generic Name: eltrombopag (el TROM boe pag)
Brand Name: Promacta

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Jul 2, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is eltrombopag?

Eltrombopag is a man-made form of a protein that increases production of platelets (blood-clotting cells) in your body. Eltrombopag can lower the risk of bleeding by increasing platelets in your blood.

Eltrombopag is used to prevent bleeding episodes in people with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a bleeding condition caused by a lack of platelets in the blood. eltrombopag is for use in adults and children who are at least 1 year old, after other medicines have been tried without success.

Eltrombopag is also used to prevent bleeding in adults with chronic hepatitis C who are treated with an interferon (such as Intron A, Infergen, Pegasys, PegIntron, Rebetron, Redipen, or Sylatron).

Eltrombopag is also used to treat severe aplastic anemia in adults after other medicines have been tried without success.

Eltrombopag is not a cure for ITP and it will not make your platelet counts normal if you have this condition.

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

Important Information

Call your doctor at once if you have signs of liver problems: nausea, upper stomach pain, confusion, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Before taking this medicine

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

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a blood clot;

  • liver disease (unless you are being treated for hepatitis C);

  • kidney disease;

  • myelodysplastic syndrome (also called "preleukemia");

  • cataracts;

  • surgery to remove your spleen; or

  • if you are of East Asian descent (Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, or Korean).

If you have myelodysplastic syndrome, taking eltrombopag can increase your risk of developing leukemia (a blood cancer that can be fatal). Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.

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

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of eltrombopag on the baby.

You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take eltrombopag?

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.

Take eltrombopag on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Do not take eltrombopag with dairy products or calcium-fortified juice.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Mix the oral suspension powder only with water. Use a new dosing syringe each time you mix the medicine, to measure the water and to give the correct dose.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

You will need frequent blood tests to check your liver function. Your eyes may also need to be checked for signs of cataract formation.

If you take eltrombopag with medication to treat chronic hepatitis C, tell your doctor if you stop using any of your hepatitis medications.

Taking eltrombopag long-term can cause harmful effects on your bone marrow that may result in serious blood cell disorders.

It may take up to 4 weeks of taking this medicine before it is completely effective in preventing bleeding episodes. Keep taking the medication as directed and tell your doctor if you have any bruising or bleeding episodes after 4 weeks of treatment.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the tablets in their original container, along with the packet or canister of moisture-absorbing preservative. After mixing eltrombopag oral suspension, store the liquid at room temperature and use it within 30 minutes.

After you stop taking eltrombopag, your risk of bleeding or bruising may be even higher than it was before you started treatment. Be extra careful to avoid cuts or injury for at least 4 weeks after you stop taking eltrombopag. Your blood will need to be tested weekly during this time.

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 eltrombopag?

Avoid all dairy products or products that contain calcium (including fortified fruit juice) for at least 4 hours before or 2 hours after you take eltrombopag.

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Eltrombopag 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.

You could develop a blood clot if your platelet count gets too high while you are using eltrombopag. Call your doctor or get emergency medical help if you have:

  • signs of a stroke--sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;

  • signs of a blood clot in the stomach--severe stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea;

  • signs of a blood clot in the lung--chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood; or

  • signs of a blood clot in your leg--pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • vision changes, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • flu symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, body aches, tired feeling;

  • increased or frequent need to urinate, pain or burning when you urinate;

  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet; or

  • liver problems--confusion, nausea, upper stomach pain, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, loss of appetite;

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat;

  • fever, flu symptoms, anemia;

  • mouth pain, tooth pain;

  • muscle pain, back pain, headache;

  • swelling in your feet or ankles;

  • feeling weak or tired;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • itching, tingling, or burning under your skin;

  • skin rash;

  • hair loss; or

  • abnormal liver function tests.

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 eltrombopag?

Some medicines can make eltrombopag much less effective when taken at the same time. If you take any of the following medicines, take your eltrombopag dose 2 hours before or 4 hours after you take the other medicine.

  • an antacid; or

  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, or zinc.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect eltrombopag, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

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.

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