Darbepoetin alfa injection is usually given by a doctor in a hospital or clinic. However, medicines given by injection are sometimes used at home. If you will be using darbepoetin alfa at home, your doctor will teach you how the injections are to be given. Be sure 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.
This medicine is available in 2 forms. You may use a vial or a prefilled syringe with an UltraSafe® Needle Guard.
If you are giving 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.
Do not shake the container of medicine before you use it, and do not use this medicine if it has been frozen.
You might not use all of the medicine in each vial (glass container) or prefilled syringe. Use each vial or syringe only one time. Do not save an open vial or syringe. If the medicine in the vial or syringe 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.
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 (solution):
For anemia from chronic kidney failure:
Adults and children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is 0.45 to 0.75 microgram (mcg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight injected into a vein or under the skin once a week or once every 2 weeks. Your doctor may adjust the dose as needed.
For anemia from cancer chemotherapy:
Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is 2.25 micrograms (mcg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight once a week or 500 mcg once every 3 weeks injected under the skin. Your doctor may adjust the dose as needed.
Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
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.