Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Ferriprox

Descriptions


Deferiprone is used to remove excess iron from the body in thalassemia patients who have blood transfusions.

Deferiprone combines with iron in the blood. The combination of iron and deferiprone is then removed from the body by the kidneys. If you have too much iron in the body, it can damage various organs and tissues.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of deferiprone in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of deferiprone in the geriatric population. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving deferiprone.

Pregnancy

Information about this deferiprone-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters D Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Diclofenac
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Probenecid
  • Silymarin

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Blood or bone marrow problems (e.g., agranulocytosis, neutropenia) or
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., QT prolongation), history of or
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Heart disease or
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., slow heartbeat) or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood)—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious side effects.
  • Infection—May decrease your body's ability to fight infection.

Proper Use

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor to benefit your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

This medicine comes with a Medication Guide. It is very important that you read and understand this information. Be sure to ask your doctor about anything you do not understand.

It is best to take the first dose of this medicine in the morning, the second dose at midday, and the third dose in the evening with meals unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

If you are taking antacids, multivitamins, or supplements containing aluminum, iron, and zinc, take these medicines at least 4 hours before or after taking deferiprone.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For chronic iron overload:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual starting dose is 25 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight, three times per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 99 mg per kg per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Deferiprone can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. If you can, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.

Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you start to have a cough that won't go away, weight loss, night sweats, a fever, chills, or flu-like symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose, headache, blurred vision, or feeling generally ill. These may be signs that you have an infection.

This medicine can cause changes in heart rhythms, such as a condition called QT prolongation. It may change the way your heart beats and cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats.

This medicine may cause your urine to turn red or brownish in color. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Black, tarry stools
  2. chills
  3. cough
  4. fever
  5. lower back or side pain
  6. painful or difficult urination
  7. pale skin
  8. shortness of breath
  9. sore throat
  10. ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  11. unusual bleeding or bruising
  12. unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common

  1. Fever with or without chills
  2. general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  3. hoarseness

Incidence not known

  1. Abdominal or stomach pain
  2. anxiety
  3. bleeding gums
  4. bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  5. blood in the urine or stools
  6. blurred vision
  7. chest pain or discomfort
  8. clay-colored stools
  9. confusion
  10. convulsions
  11. dark urine
  12. decreased urination
  13. dilated neck veins
  14. dizziness or lightheadedness
  15. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  16. drowsiness
  17. dry mouth
  18. extreme fatigue
  19. fainting
  20. fast or irregular heartbeat
  21. headache
  22. hives
  23. increase in heart rate
  24. increased sweating
  25. irregular breathing
  26. irritation
  27. itching
  28. joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  29. large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin
  30. loss of appetite
  31. muscle tremors
  32. nausea
  33. nervousness
  34. painful knees and ankles
  35. pinpoint red spots on the skin
  36. pounding in the ears
  37. raised red swellings on the skin, the buttocks, legs, or ankles
  38. rapid weight gain
  39. rapid, deep breathing
  40. rapid, shallow breathing
  41. rash
  42. redness of the skin
  43. restlessness
  44. severe nausea or vomiting
  45. slow heartbeat
  46. sneezing
  47. spots on your skin resembling a blister or pimple
  48. stomach cramps
  49. sudden shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  50. sugar in the urine
  51. sunken eyes
  52. sweating
  53. swelling around the eyes
  54. swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
  55. thirst
  56. tightness in the chest
  57. tingling of the hands or feet
  58. trouble with balance
  59. troubled breathing or swallowing
  60. unpleasant breath odor
  61. unusual weight gain or loss
  62. vision changes
  63. vomiting of blood
  64. weight gain
  65. wheezing
  66. wrinkled skin
  67. yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Abdominal or stomach discomfort
  2. difficulty with moving
  3. muscle pain or stiffness
  4. reddish or brow discoloration of the urine

Less common

  1. Acid or sour stomach
  2. back pain
  3. belching
  4. diarrhea
  5. heartburn
  6. increased or decreased appetite
  7. indigestion
  8. pain in the arms or legs
  9. stomach upset

Incidence not known

  1. Bloody nose
  2. clenching, gnashing, or grinding teeth
  3. constipation
  4. coughing or spitting up blood
  5. depression
  6. difficulty opening the mouth
  7. difficulty with speaking
  8. drooling
  9. hives or welts
  10. impaired psychomotor skills
  11. increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  12. lockjaw
  13. loss of appetite
  14. loss of balance control
  15. muscle spasm, especially of the neck and back
  16. muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
  17. pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  18. redness or other discoloration of the skin
  19. restlessness
  20. severe sunburn
  21. shuffling walk
  22. sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  23. stiffness of the limbs
  24. stomach bloating, burning, cramping, or pain
  25. twisting movements of the body
  26. uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.