Skip to main content

Deferiprone (By mouth)

Deferiprone (de-FER-i-prone)

Treats iron toxicity (too much iron in the blood). This medicine is an iron chelator (binder).

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to deferiprone, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • 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.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using silymarin (milk thistle) or a diuretic or "water pill" (such as hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], furosemide, torsemide, Demadex®, or Lasix®).
  • Do not take anything that contains aluminum, iron, or zinc within 4 hours before or after you take deferiprone. This includes antacids, multivitamins, and supplements.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Do not breastfeed while you are using this medicine.
  • Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as dizziness, fainting, or fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. You are more likely to have changes in heart rhythm if you already have heart problems, such as QT prolongation, heart failure, slow heartbeat, or hypertrophy. Make sure your doctor knows if you already have low magnesium or potassium levels in your blood.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have any type of infection. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you start to have any signs of an infection, such as a cough, fever, chills, runny or stuffy nose, or flu-like symptoms.
  • This medicine may cause your urine to turn red or brownish in color. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Seizures

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain
  • Reddish or brown discoloration of the urine

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Last Updated: 4/4/2014

Copyright © 1984- Thomson Micromedex. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M