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darbepoetin alfa

Pronunciation: DAR be POE e tin AL fa

Brand: Aranesp, Aranesp Albumin Free, Aranesp SureClick

What is the most important information I should know about darbepoetin alfa?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you have untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure, if you are allergic to darbepoetin alfa or epoetin alfa (Epogen or Procrit), or if you have ever had pure red cell aplasia (PRCA, a type of anemia) caused by using either of these two drugs.

Before using darbepoetin alfa, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, kidney disease, a blood cell or clotting disorder, cancer, a seizure disorder, a latex allergy, or a history of stroke, heart attack, or blood clots.

Multum emt

This medicine can increase your risk of life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke. This risk will increase the longer you use darbepoetin alfa. Darbepoetin alfa may also shorten remission time or survival time in some people with certain types of cancer. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using darbepoetin alfa.

Seek emergency medical help if you have symptoms of heart or circulation problems, such as chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, shortness of breath, slurred speech, or problems with vision or balance.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Your blood pressure will also need to be checked. Visit your doctor regularly.

Multum emt

Contact your doctor if you feel light-headed or unusually weak or tired. These may be signs that your body has stopped responding to darbepoetin alfa.

Some women using darbepoetin alfa have started having menstrual periods, even after not having a period for a long time due to a medical condition. You may be able to get pregnant if your periods restart. Talk with your doctor about the need for birth control.

What is darbepoetin alfa?

Darbepoetin alfa is a man-made form of a protein that helps your body produce red blood cells. The amount of this protein in your body may be reduced when you have kidney failure or use certain medications. When fewer red blood cells are produced, you can develop a condition called anemia.

Darbepoetin alfa is used to treat anemia (a lack of red blood cells in the body).

Darbepoetin alfa may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using darbepoetin alfa?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to darbepoetin alfa or epoetin alfa (Epogen or Procrit), or if you have:

  • untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure; or
  • if you have ever had pure red cell aplasia (PRCA, a type of anemia) caused by using darbepoetin alfa or epoetin alfa.

To make sure you can safely take darbepoetin alfa, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure;
  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
  • a history of stroke, heart attack, or blood clots;
  • a blood cell or clotting disorder, such as sickle cell anemia or hemophilia;
  • cancer;
  • a seizure disorder; or
  • if you are allergic to latex.
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether darbepoetin alfa will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether darbepoetin alfa passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Some women using darbepoetin alfa have started having menstrual periods, even after not having a period for a long time due to a medical condition. You may be able to get pregnant if your periods restart. Talk with your doctor about the need to use birth control while you are using darbepoetin alfa.

Darbepoetin alfa may shorten remission time in some people with head and neck cancer who are also being treated with radiation. Darbepoetin alfa may also shorten survival time in certain people with breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, head and neck cancer, cervical cancer, or lymphoid cancer. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.

How should I use darbepoetin alfa?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Darbepoetin alfa is injected under the skin or into a vein. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

Multum donot

Do not shake the medication bottle or you may ruin the medicine. Prepare your dose in a syringe only when you are ready to give yourself an injection. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Your blood pressure will also need to be checked. Visit your doctor regularly.

Multum emt

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using darbepoetin alfa.

Multum refig

Store in the refrigerator and protect from light. Do not freeze darbepoetin alfa, and throw away the medication if it has become frozen.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of darbepoetin alfa.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include some of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while using darbepoetin alfa?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of darbepoetin alfa?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Contact your doctor if you feel light-headed or unusually weak or tired. These may be signs that your body has stopped responding to darbepoetin alfa.

Multum emt

Darbepoetin alfa can increase your risk of life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke. This risk will increase the longer you use darbepoetin alfa. Seek emergency medical help if you have symptoms of heart or circulation problems, such as:

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance; or
  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs.
Multum donot

Stop using darbepoetin alfa and call your doctor at once if you have other serious side effects such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • seizure (black-out or convulsions); or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • stomach pain;
  • mild cough;
  • mild skin rash or redness; or
  • pain, bruising, swelling, warmth, redness, oozing, or bleeding where the IV needle is placed.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect darbepoetin alfa?

There may be other drugs that can interact with darbepoetin alfa. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about darbepoetin alfa.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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