Product Name: Eprex
Product Ingredients: Epoetin alfa (erythropoietin)
Eprex is a synthesized epoetin alfa (erythropoietin) and is used to replace the hormone in conditions of its lack. Erythropoietin is produced naturally in the body, principally by kidneys. Erythropoietin regulates the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen in the blood. Erythropoietin shortage might cause different severe anemia (lack of oxygen reaching the different parts of the body).
Eprex is indicated for treatment of anemia in people with chronic kidney disease, HIV or malignancy and people with cancer who develop anemia because of chemotherapy medication. The product might also be used to increase red blood cell production in patients before certain surgeries.
Contraindications and Cautions:
Eprex is contradicted for the patients with past or current experience of one of the following:
-hypersensibility to Eprex's ingredients;
-folic acid, iron, or vitamin B12 deficiency;
-pure red cell aplasia;
-porphyrin metabolism disorder;
The patient should inform his physician about any health related conditions. The product should not be indicated to the infants. Eprex has proved its safety and efficiency for children over the age of 1 month who need dialysis to treat chronic renal failure.
It is not necessary to experience any adverse reactions to the drug. However Eprex might cause several side effects, such as: diarrhea; headache; coughing; nausea; joint or muscle aches; respiratory hyperemia; insomnia; vomiting; indigestion; gastrointestinal ache; injection site problems.
The patient must seek for an emergent medical attention in case of: deep vein thrombosis; skin rash; blood problems; hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylactic, urticaria reaction or angioedema; oedema of the extremities; raised blood pressure; porphyria or porphyria-like reaction or worsening of porphyria; thromboembolism; worsening of hypertension; heart problems; severe gastrointestinal ache; trouble breathing; dizziness; mass gain; vision or speech difficulties; unusual tiredness or weakness; rapid heartbeat.
The patient should consult with his physician about any possible adverse effects.
Eprex treatment is divided into two phases: correction phase and maintenance phase.
The correction phase common dose: 50 IU/kg, 3 times per week.
If it is necessary, the dose might be increased with 25 IU/kg increments, 3 times per week. This should be done in steps of at least 4 weeks.
The maintenance phase: the maximum dosage should not exceed 150 IU/kg, 3 times per week, 240 IU/kg once weekly, or 480 IU/kg once every 2 weeks.
The medicine can be injected intravenously or subcutaneously. The entire medication course should be monitored by the specialist. The physician might need to adjust the Eprex dose to patient's body response to the medicine. Medical examination procedure is required once a week.
It is strictly prohibited to miss a dose. In case of a failed dose the patient should consult with the physician. It is also not allowed to change the dose prescribed by the doctor.
The patient should inform his physician about any other medicine he is taking in order not to decrease the effectiveness of the treatment. There is a possible interaction between cyclosporine and epoetin alfa. However it does not necessary mean that the use of one of them should be discontinued. The patient should consult with his doctor, if the patient is taking cyclosporine. Some additional medicine such as iron supplements might be required during the Eprex treatment.
Eprex should be stored at a refrigerator (2°C-8°C). The product should not be shaken before the administration. It is not allowed to dispose the medication in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet).