Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Epoetin injection is usually given by a doctor after a kidney dialysis treatment or in a hospital or clinic. It may be given as a shot under your skin or into a vein. However, medicines given by injection are sometimes used at home. If you will be using epoetin at home, your doctor will teach you how the injections are to be given. You will also have a chance to practice giving them. Be sure that you understand exactly how the medicine is prepared and injected.

Cancer patients who use epoetin injection must read about and become familiar with the ESA APPRISE Oncology Program. Your doctor will explain the program to you and your child. Make sure you understand how the program works and talk to your doctor if you have any questions.

This medicine should come with a medication guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

If you are using this medicine at home:

  • Store the vials (glass containers) in the refrigerator and protect them from bright light. Do not allow the vials to freeze.
  • Do not shake the vial before you use it.
  • When you are ready for a dose, carefully look at the medicine in the vial. If the medicine has changed color, or if you see specks (particles) floating in it, do not use it.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given.
  • If you use the vials that have one dose, you might not use all of the medicine in each vial. Use each vial only one time and throw any extra medicine away. Do not save an opened vial.
  • If you use the vial that has enough medicine for more than one dose, put it back in the refrigerator after your dose. Write the date on the vial that you first used it and throw away any unused medicine after 21 days.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard closed container that the needles cannot poke through (puncture-resistant). Keep this container away from children and pets.

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 injection dosage form:
    • For anemia from chronic kidney failure:
      • Adults and teenagers—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is 50 to 100 units per kilogram (kg) injected into a vein or under the skin three times a week. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose to determine the best dose for you.
      • Children 1 month to 12 years of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is 50 units per kg injected into a vein or under the skin three times a week. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose to determine the best dose for you.
      • Infants younger than 1 month of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For anemia from cancer chemotherapy:
      • Adults and teenagers—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is 150 units per kilogram (kg) injected under the skin three times a week. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose to determine the best dose for you.
      • Children 1 month to 12 years of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is 600 units per kg injected into a vein once a week. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose to determine the best dose for you.
      • Infants younger than 1 month of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For anemia from HIV therapy:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is 100 units per kilogram (kg) injected into a vein or under the skin three times a week for 8 weeks. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose to determine the best dose for you.
      • Children and teenagers 8 months to 17 years of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is 50 units per kg injected into a vein or under the skin two or three times a week. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose to determine the best dose for you.
      • Infants younger than 8 months of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For anemia from surgery:
      • Adults and teenagers—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is 300 units per kilogram (kg) injected under the skin for 10 days before the surgery, on the day of the surgery, and for 4 days after surgery.
      • Children 1 month to 12 years of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.
      • Infants younger than 1 month of age—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

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.

Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Protect the medicine from bright light. Keep your medicine in the original package until you are ready to use it.