Generic Name: Deferiprone Brand Name(s): Deferiprone.

Uses

What is Deferiprone used for?

Deferiprone is commonly used by people with a certain type of blood disorder (thalassemia) who have too much iron in the body, caused by repeated blood transfusions. Blood transfusions help people with blood disorders but they also bring extra iron into the body. It is important to get rid of the extra iron because high levels of iron can cause health problems (such as heart failure, liver disease, diabetes, delayed growth in children). Deferiprone is used if you have trouble taking other traditional iron-removal medications or you continue to have high iron levels after taking other iron-removal medications.

Deferiprone belongs to a class of drugs known as iron chelators. It works by attaching to iron which helps your body pass the extra iron out in the urine.

How should I take Deferiprone?

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 3 times a day (morning, midday, and evening). Taking this medication with food may help lessen nausea.

If you are using the liquid form of this medication, also read the Patient Instructions for Use. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. After you swallow each dose, mix some water in the measuring device/spoon and drink the mixture.

Take this medication 4 hours apart from products that may bind to it, decreasing its effectiveness. Ask your pharmacist about the other products you take. Some examples include antacids, vitamins/minerals (such as those containing iron, aluminum, zinc), among others.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment (including laboratory test results). Your treatment may need to be adjusted or stopped if you develop serious side effects. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Keep all medical/laboratory appointments.

Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.

How do I store Deferiprone?

Deferiprone is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Deferiprone in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Deferiprone that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Deferiprone down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Deferiprone?

Before taking deferiprone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, low white blood cell count.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.

It is unknown if deferiprone passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Deferiprone during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this Deferiprone. This Deferiprone is pregnancy risk category D according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Deferiprone?

Nausea, vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, or joint pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

This medication may cause your urine to turn a reddish-brown color. This effect is harmless and will disappear when the medication is stopped.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, bloody stools.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Deferiprone?

Deferiprone may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Deferiprone?

Deferiprone may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Deferiprone?

Deferiprone may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Deferiprone.

What is the dose of Deferiprone for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Thalassemia

Initial dose: 25 mg/kg, orally, 3 times a day (total daily dose: 75 mg/kg)

Maximum dose: 33 mg/kg, orally, 3 times a day (total daily dose: 99 mg/kg)

Comments:

-Round dose to the nearest 250 mg (half tablet).

-Tailor dose to patient response and therapeutic goals (maintenance or reduction of iron burden).

-Approval based on reduction in serum ferritin; there are no trials showing a direct treatment benefit (e.g. improved symptoms, functioning, or survival).

-Safety and efficacy have not been established for transfusional iron overload with other chronic anemias.

Use: Treatment of transfusional iron overload due to thalassemia syndromes when current chelation therapy is inadequate.

Usual Adult Dose for Iron Overload

Initial dose: 25 mg/kg, orally, 3 times a day (total daily dose: 75 mg/kg)

Maximum dose: 33 mg/kg, orally, 3 times a day (total daily dose: 99 mg/kg)

Comments:

-Round dose to the nearest 250 mg (half tablet).

-Tailor dose to patient response and therapeutic goals (maintenance or reduction of iron burden).

-Approval based on reduction in serum ferritin; there are no trials showing a direct treatment benefit (e.g. improved symptoms, functioning, or survival).

-Safety and efficacy have not been established for transfusional iron overload with other chronic anemias.

Use: Treatment of transfusional iron overload due to thalassemia syndromes when current chelation therapy is inadequate.

Renal Dose Adjustments

No adjustment recommended.

Liver Dose Adjustments

No adjustment recommended for mild or moderate hepatic impairment.

Dose Adjustments

-If serum ferritin consistently falls below 500 mcg/L, consider temporarily interrupting therapy.

Other Comments

Administration advice:

-Advise patients to take this medication in the morning, midday, and evening.

-Taking this medication with meals may reduce nausea.

-If a dose is missed, take as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose; do not catch-up or double doses.

Monitoring:

-Monitor serum ferritin concentration every 2 to 3 months.

Patient advice:

-Advise patients to immediately report infection symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and flu-like symptoms.

What is the dose of Deferiprone for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Deferiprone available?

Deferiprone is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet
  • Capsule

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Deferiprone, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: January 19, 2018 | Last Modified: January 19, 2018