Drug Information

Deferoxamine Mesylate

What is DEFEROXAMINE MESYLATE?

(DEFEROXAMINE MESYLATE) This medication is used along with other treatments (such as causing vomiting with syrup of ipecac, stomach pumping) to treat sudden iron poisoning. It is most effective when given as soon as possible after the iron was eaten. This medication can also be used to help get rid of iron in patients with high iron levels due to many blood transfusions. Deferoxamine is an iron-binding agent that belongs to a class of drugs known as heavy metal antagonists. It works by helping the kidneys and gallbladder get rid of the extra iron. This medication is not recommended for use in children less than 3 years old (see also Precautions section).

How should I use DEFEROXAMINE MESYLATE?

Depending upon your medical condition, this medication is injected directly into a muscle, under the skin, or into a vein as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. If you are using this medication to treat high iron levels, your doctor may direct you to take vitamin C (ascorbic acid) after you have been using this medication for at least 1 month. Taking vitamin C will help replace the loss of vitamin C due to high iron levels and help the medication work to get rid of the iron. If you have heart disease (such as heart failure), tell your doctor before taking vitamin C while using this medication (see also Drug Interactions). The manufacturer recommends that adults using this drug take no more than 200 milligrams of vitamin C a day. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take DEFEROXAMINE MESYLATE?

Before using deferoxamine, 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: kidney problems, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, any fungal infection. If you are using this medication for aluminum poisoning, also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have: seizures, decreased calcium levels in the blood, hyperparathyroidism. This drug may make you dizzy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Children (especially those younger than 3 years of age) may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially the effects on bone growth. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially vision/hearing problems. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is unknown whether this drug 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.

What may interact with DEFEROXAMINE MESYLATE?

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some of the products that may interact with this drug include: prochlorperazine. If you have a certain heart problem (heart failure), this drug should not be used with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) because very serious interactions may occur. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details before starting deferoxamine. This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including gallium scintigraphy), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

What if I miss a dose of DEFEROXAMINE MESYLATE?

It is important to get each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist right away for a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

What side effects may I notice from receiving DEFEROXAMINE MESYLATE?

Pain and swelling at the injection site or blurred vision may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. This medicine may cause your urine to turn reddish. This effect is harmless. When this medication is given into a vein, flushing, severe itching, severe dizziness, fast heartbeat, and fainting can occur. The manufacturer recommends that, when possible, this medication be given either in the muscle or under the skin. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: other vision changes (such as vision loss, loss of color vision, cataracts), eye pain, hearing changes (such as ringing ears, decreased hearing/loss). Rarely, this drug may cause serious (sometimes fatal) bacterial or fungal infections. Get medical help right away if you notice any of the following: unexplained diarrhea/abdominal pain/fever. This drug may rarely cause a serious (rarely fatal) lung condition (acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS). Get medical help right away if you notice any of the following: sudden/severe shortness of breath, labored or rapid breathing, severe dizziness. 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. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Where should I keep DEFEROXAMINE MESYLATE?

Store unmixed vials at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. After mixing, use within time period indicated in product instructions. Discard unused portion. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

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