Darbepoetin Alfa

Description

Darbepoetin Alfa is used to treat a lower than normal count of red blood cells (anemia) caused by chronic kidney failure, a condition where the kidneys slowly and permanently stop functioning over a period of time. It is also used to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy medications (cancer drugs) in patients suffering from certain specific types of cancer. However, this medicine should not be used in place of red blood cell transfusions to treat severe or life-threatening anemia. This medicine may not improve symptoms such as tiredness or poor well-being associated with anemia.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Darbepoetin Alfa

  • Cough
  • Stomach pain
  • Redness, swelling, bruising, itching, or a lump at the injection site
  • Skin rash and itching
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • Excessive tiredness and weakness
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Pale skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Burning, numbness, tingling in the arms and feet

Uses of Darbepoetin Alfa

What is it prescribed for?

  • Chronic kidney disease associated anemia
  • Chemotherapy associated anemia
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The effect of this medicine is cumulative and it generally takes up to 2 to 6 weeks before any effects can be observed.
  • Duration of effect
    The amount of time for which this medicine remains effective in the body is subject to variations based on the route of administration and individual constitution.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. Your doctor will determine the best course of treatment after evaluating the potential benefits and risks associated with the use of this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. Your doctor will determine the best course of treatment after evaluating the potential benefits and risks associated with the use of this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue the medicine or to discontinue breastfeeding based on your clinical condition.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a history of severe allergic reactions to darbepoetin alfa or any other inactive ingredients present in the formulation.

Uncontrolled hypertension

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with an uncontrolled high blood pressure since it may worsen the patient's condition.

Pure red cell aplasia

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) that begins after treatment with darbepoetin alfa or other erythropoietin protein drugs.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. Your doctor will determine the best course of treatment after evaluating the potential benefits and risks associated with the use of this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. Your doctor will determine the best course of treatment after evaluating the potential benefits and risks associated with the use of this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue the medicine or to discontinue breastfeeding based on your clinical condition.
General warnings

Other medicines

This medicine may interact with many other medicines and may cause severe adverse effects. Hence, it is advised that you report all your current medicines, including any herbs and supplements, to the doctor before beginning treatment with this medicine.

Not for immediate effect

This medicine should not be used in cases where an immediate increase in the red blood cell count is desired.

Ongoing cancer treatment

This medicine is not recommended for use in cancer patients who are being treated with biological products or radiation therapy. It is also not recommended for use in cancer patients who are receiving myelosuppressive therapy for a curable form of cancer. It is also not recommended for use in cancer patients when anemia can be managed with transfusion.

Surgery of heart and blood vessels

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients who are about to undergo a surgery of the heart or blood vessels due to the increased risk of serious and life-threatening adverse effects.

Cardiovascular diseases

This medicine should be used with extreme caution in patients with a history of cardiovascular diseases due to the increased risk of serious and life-threatening adverse effects. Close monitoring of clinical condition, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the patient's clinical condition.

Seizures

This medicine can cause seizures in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease. This risk is especially higher in the early stages of treatment and in patients with a history of seizures. Close monitoring of clinical condition, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the patient's clinical condition.

Serious allergic reactions

This medicine may cause severe and life-threatening allergic reactions in some patients. Use should be discontinued immediately and permanently if any such reactions occur.

Target hemoglobin level

This medicine should not be used to target a hemoglobin level of greater than 11 g/dL since the risk of serious and life-threatening adverse effects is significantly high.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, contact your doctor immediately for further instructions.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Thalidomide

Ramipril

Cyclosporine

Lenalidomide

Disease interactions

Hypertension

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients suffering from an uncontrolled high blood pressure. Blood pressure should be adequately controlled before beginning therapy with this medicine. Close monitoring of blood pressure is necessary during treatment with this medicine. Aggressive antihypertensive therapy, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Seizure disorders

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from seizure disorders since it may worsen the patient's condition. You may require a dose adjustment and more frequent clinical monitoring to safely use these medicines together. Replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Blood clotting disorders

This medicine should be used with extreme caution in patients suffering from blood clotting disorders since the risk of blood clots and associated adverse effects is significantly high. Report any disease of the heart and blood vessels to the doctor before beginning treatment with this medicine. Close monitoring of clinical condition, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary in some cases based on the patient's condition.

Hemodaialysis

This medicine should be administered with caution in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Close monitoring of the clinical condition and appropriate dose adjustments are recommended for these patients.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Administer this medicine exactly as prescribed by the doctor. It is advised to always administer this medicine in the presence of your doctor or a trained healthcare professional. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller quantities than recommended. Ensure that the course of treatment is completed. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor.
Miscelleneous

Usage does not depend on food timings

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
This medicine stimulates the bone marrow to increase the production of red blood cells. This helps in the treatment of anemia.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Recombinant human erythropoietins

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. Accessdata.fda.gov. 2018 [cited 19 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2008/103951s5170ppi.pdf

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 19 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.6958.pdf

Aranesp® (darbepoetin alfa) [Internet]. Aranesp.com. 2018 [cited 19 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.aranesp.com/

DailyMed - Darbepoetin alfa injection, solution ARANESP- darbepoetin alfa solution [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 19 September 2018]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=0fd36cb9-c4f6-4167-93c9-8530865db3f9

Darbepoetin alfa - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2018 [cited 19 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00012

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Information on this page was last updated on 20 Sep 2018

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We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.