Table of contents:
- What is Epoetin Alfa
- Warning Before Using Epoetin Alfa
- Dosage and Rules for Using Epoetin Alfa
- How to Use Epoetin Alpha Correctly
- Interaction of Epoetin Alfa with Other Drugs
- Side Effects and Dangers of Epoetin Alfa
Epoetin alfa is a drug to treat anemia in patients with chronic kidney failure, HIV/AIDS patients taking zidovudine, or patients undergoing chemotherapy
Epoetin alfa belongs to the erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) class of drugs. This drug works by triggering the bone marrow to produce blood cells. The way it works is similar to the natural hormone erythropoietin in the body.
By increasing the number of blood cells produced, anemia can be overcome and the need for blood transfusions can also be reduced.
Trademarks of epoetin alfa: Epodion, Eprex 2000, Eprex 4000, Eprex 10000, Hemapo, Prrex 40000, Renogen, Recormon 5000
What is Epoetin Alfa
|Categories||Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA)|
|Benefits||Treating anemia in patients with chronic kidney failure, HIV/AIDS patients taking zidovudine, or undergoing chemotherapy|
|Epoetin alfa for pregnant and lactating mothers||Category C: Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women. Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.
Epoetin alfa is not yet known whether it can be absorbed through breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medication without telling your doctor.
Warning Before Using Epoetin Alfa
Epoetin alfa can only be used according to a doctor's prescription. Here are some things you need to pay attention to before using epoetin alpha:
- Tell your doctor about any allergies you have. Epoetin alfa should not be used by patients who are allergic to this drug.
- Tell your doctor if you have uncontrolled hypertension or are at risk for a heart attack, stroke or heart failure. Epoetin alfa should not be used by these patients, because it can increase the risk of serious side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) after treatment with drugs similar to erythropoietin. Epoetin alpha should not be used by this patient.
- Tell your doctor if you have or are currently suffering from heart disease, seizures, phenylketonuria (PKU), kidney disease, cancer, or are on dialysis.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including supplements, or herbal products.
- See your doctor immediately if you experience an overdose, drug allergic reaction, or more serious side effects after taking epoetin alfa.
Dosage and Rules for Using Epoetin Alfa
Epoetin alfa injections are given into a vein (intravenous/IV) or under the skin (subcutaneously/SC) by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor.
The dose of epoetin alfa will be determined by the doctor according to the patient's condition. The following is the distribution of epoetin alpha doses:
Aim: Treating anemia in patients with chronic kidney failureThe initial dose is 50 IU/kgBW, 3 times a week. Treatment is given by IV injection over at least 1–5 minutes. The dose can be increased in increments of 25 IU/kg every 4 weeks.
Aim: Treating anemia in HIV patients who are taking zidovudineThe initial dose is 100 IU/kgBW, 3 times a week. Treatment is given by SC/IV injection for 8 weeks. The dose can be increased by 50–100 IU/kg, 3 times a week with treatment intervals of 4–8 weeks according to the patient's response.
Aim: Treating anemia in patients undergoing chemotherapyInitial dose is 150 IU/kgBW, 3 times a week or 450 IU/kgBW, once a week. The dose can be increased to 60,000 IU, once a week after 4 weeks of treatment.
Aim: Reducing the need for blood transfusions in certain surgeriesDosage of 600 IU/kgBB, once a week. Treatment was started 3 weeks before surgery with the 4th dose given on the day of surgery. Or 300 IU/kgBB every day. Treatment starts 10 days before surgery and 4 days after surgery.
How to Use Epoetin Alpha Correctly
Epoetin alfa should only be injected by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor at a hospital. Follow the suggestions and recommendations during therapy using epoetin alfa.
Make sure to carry out the control according to the schedule given by the doctor. During treatment with epoetin alfa, you will need to have regular medical and laboratory examinations.
Do not stop taking epoetin alfa treatment without consulting your doctor first. Stopping the drug suddenly can make the condition more difficult to treat.
Interaction of Epoetin Alfa with Other Drugs
There are several drug interaction effects that can occur when epoetin alfa is used with certain drugs, namely:
- Increased risk of blood clots that can clog blood vessels if carfilzomib, lenlidomide, pomalidomide, or thalidomide are used
- Increased effectiveness of epoetin alfa when used with methyltestosterone
- Increased levels of ciclosporin in the blood
Side Effects and Dangers of Epoetin Alfa
Side effects that may occur after using epoetin alfa are:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Joint or muscle pain
- Irritation, redness, or pain at the injection site
Consult a doctor if the above side effects persist or get worse. This medicine can also increase the risk of blood clots forming that can block blood vessels, see a doctor immediately if you experience the following conditions:
- Heart attack which can be characterized by symptoms such as severe chest pain, shortness of breath, cold sweat, or fainting
- Blockage in the leg veins which can be characterized by symptoms such as pain, swelling, or a feeling of warmth in the thigh or calf
- Stroke which can be characterized by symptoms in the form of weakness on one side of the body, speech suddenly becomes unclear, very severe headache
In addition, you should also see a doctor immediately if you experience an allergic drug reaction or symptoms of heart failure, including unusual tiredness, severe shortness of breath, and swelling of the hands or feet.