Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Epoetin injection is usually given by a doctor after a kidney dialysis treatment in a hospital or clinic. 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. Be sure that you understand exactly how the medicine is to be injected.

It may be given as a shot under your skin or into a vein. If your doctor tells you to inject it in a certain way, follow your doctor's instructions.

This medicine comes 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:

  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • 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 once 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 use. Write the date on the vial that you first used it and throw away any unused medicine after 21 days.

Do not shake the vial before using it. Do not use this medicine if it has been frozen.

If the medicine in the vial has changed color, or if you see particles in it, do not use it.

Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet. You may need to eat foods that contain iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12 such as eggs, certain cereals, meats, and vegetables, or you may take an iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12 supplement while you are using this medicine.

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 chemotherapy:
      • Adults—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 or 40,000 units injected under the skin once a week. Your doctor may adjust the dose as needed.
      • Children 5 years of age and older—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 adjust the dose as needed.
      • Children younger than 5 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For anemia from chronic kidney failure on dialysis:
      • Adults—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 adjust the dose as needed.
      • Children 1 month to 16 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 adjust the dose as needed.
      • Children younger than 1 month of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For anemia from chronic kidney failure not on dialysis:
      • Adults—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 adjust the dose as needed.
      • Children—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 adjust the dose as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For anemia from surgery:
      • Adults—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—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.

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.