What is FERRIPROX?
(FERRIPROX) This medication is used by people with certain blood disorders (such as thalassemia, sickle cell anemia) 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 use FERRIPROX?
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking deferiprone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Deferiprone is available in two different formulations: extended-release or immediate-release. Do not switch between the different forms of deferiprone without consulting your doctor. In the US, the immediate-release formulation is also called the "three-times-a-day" formulation. Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 3 times daily. Taking this medication with food may help lessen nausea. Take your doses in the morning, at midday, and in the evening. 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 cup. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. After you swallow each dose, add about 2 to 3 teaspoonsful (10 to 15 milliliters) of water to the measuring cup. Gently swirl to mix, then drink all of the mixture to make sure you get your full dose. Wash the measuring cup as directed after each time you use it. The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment (including lab test results). To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Your treatment may need to be adjusted or stopped if you develop serious side effects. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. 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.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take FERRIPROX?
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). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using deferiprone. Deferiprone may harm an unborn baby. Your doctor should order a pregnancy test before you start this medication. Women using this medication should ask about reliable forms of birth control during treatment and for 6 months after the last dose. Men using this medication should ask about reliable forms of birth control during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose. If you or your partner becomes pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication. It is unknown if deferiprone passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this medication and for 2 weeks after the last dose is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
What may interact with FERRIPROX?
See also How to Use section. 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.
What should I watch for while using FERRIPROX?
This medication may rarely cause a very serious low white blood cell count, which increases your risk of serious, possibly fatal infections. To lower your risk, your doctor will check your blood counts with a blood test before treatment and regularly during treatment. Get medical help right away if you develop any signs of infection such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills, or flu-like symptoms.
What if I miss a dose of FERRIPROX?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What side effects may I notice from receiving FERRIPROX?
See also Warning and How to Use sections. Nausea, vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, or joint pain may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, 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 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. 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. 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 FERRIPROX?
Store tightly closed in the original container at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. For the liquid, store it only in the original container and carton to protect it from light. After the bottle is first opened, throw away any unused liquid after 35 days. 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.