Skip to main content

Deferiprone (Oral route)

Pronunciation:

de-FER-i-prone

Brand Names:

  • Ferriprox

Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Warnings:

Oral route(Tablet)

Deferiprone can cause agranulocytosis, often preceded by neutropenia, that can lead to serious infections and death. Measure the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) before starting deferiprone therapy and weekly on therapy. Interrupt deferiprone therapy if neutropenia or infection develops and monitor the ANC more frequently. Advise patients to report immediately any symptoms indicative of infection .

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Heavy Metal Chelator

Uses of This Medicine:

Deferiprone is used to remove excess iron from the body in thalassemia patients who have blood transfusions.

Deferiprone combines with iron in the blood. The combination of iron and deferiprone is then removed from the body by the kidneys. If you have too much iron in the body, it can damage various organs and tissues.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of deferiprone in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults—

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of deferiprone in the geriatric population. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving deferiprone.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersDStudies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Diclofenac
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Probenecid
  • Silymarin

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Blood or bone marrow problems (e.g., agranulocytosis, neutropenia) or
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., QT prolongation), history of or
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Heart disease or
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., slow heartbeat) or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood)—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious side effects.
  • Infection—May decrease your body's ability to fight infection.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor to benefit your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

This medicine comes with a Medication Guide. It is very important that you read and understand this information. Be sure to ask your doctor about anything you do not understand.

It is best to take the first dose of this medicine in the morning, the second dose at midday, and the third dose in the evening with meals unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

If you are taking antacids, multivitamins, or supplements containing aluminum, iron, and zinc, take these medicines at least 4 hours before or after taking deferiprone.

Dosing—

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For chronic iron overload:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual starting dose is 25 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight, three times per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 99 mg per kg per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Deferiprone can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. If you can, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.

Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you start to have a cough that won't go away, weight loss, night sweats, a fever, chills, or flu-like symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose, headache, blurred vision, or feeling generally ill. These may be signs that you have an infection.

This medicine can cause changes in heart rhythms, such as a condition called QT prolongation. It may change the way your heart beats and cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats.

This medicine may cause your urine to turn red or brownish in color. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Black, tarry stools
chills
cough
fever
lower back or side pain
painful or difficult urination
pale skin
shortness of breath
sore throat
ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
Fever with or without chills
general feeling of tiredness or weakness
hoarseness
Incidence not known
Abdominal or stomach pain
anxiety
bleeding gums
bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
blood in the urine or stools
blurred vision
chest pain or discomfort
clay-colored stools
confusion
convulsions
dark urine
decreased urination
dilated neck veins
dizziness or lightheadedness
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
drowsiness
dry mouth
extreme fatigue
fainting
fast or irregular heartbeat
headache
hives
increase in heart rate
increased sweating
irregular breathing
irritation
itching
joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin
loss of appetite
muscle tremors
nausea
nervousness
painful knees and ankles
pinpoint red spots on the skin
pounding in the ears
raised red swellings on the skin, the buttocks, legs, or ankles
rapid weight gain
rapid, deep breathing
rapid, shallow breathing
rash
redness of the skin
restlessness
severe nausea or vomiting
slow heartbeat
sneezing
spots on your skin resembling a blister or pimple
stomach cramps
sudden shortness of breath or troubled breathing
sugar in the urine
sunken eyes
sweating
swelling around the eyes
swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
thirst
tightness in the chest
tingling of the hands or feet
trouble with balance
troubled breathing or swallowing
unpleasant breath odor
unusual weight gain or loss
vision changes
vomiting of blood
weight gain
wheezing
wrinkled skin
yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Abdominal or stomach discomfort
difficulty with moving
muscle pain or stiffness
reddish or brow discoloration of the urine
Less common
Acid or sour stomach
back pain
belching
diarrhea
heartburn
increased or decreased appetite
indigestion
pain in the arms or legs
stomach upset
Incidence not known
Bloody nose
clenching, gnashing, or grinding teeth
constipation
coughing or spitting up blood
depression
difficulty opening the mouth
difficulty with speaking
drooling
hives or welts
impaired psychomotor skills
increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
lockjaw
loss of appetite
loss of balance control
muscle spasm, especially of the neck and back
muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
redness or other discoloration of the skin
restlessness
severe sunburn
shuffling walk
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
stiffness of the limbs
stomach bloating, burning, cramping, or pain
twisting movements of the body
uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

Copyright © 1984- Thomson Micromedex. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M