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Drugs reference index «Desferal»

Desferal

Generic Name: deferoxamine (de fer OX a meen)Brand Names: Desferal

What is Desferal (deferoxamine)?

Deferoxamine binds to iron and removes it from the blood stream.

Deferoxamine is used to treat iron overload caused by blood transfusions in adults and children at least 3 years old.

Deferoxamine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Desferal (deferoxamine)?Do not use this medication if you are allergic to deferoxamine, if you have kidney disease, or if you are unable to urinate.

Before using deferoxamine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver disease, vision or hearing problems, asthma or other breathing disorder, heart disease, low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia), or a parathyroid disorder.

While you are using deferoxamine, get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; joint or muscle pain; fever; headache; nausea or vomiting; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Long-term use of deferoxamine can slow a child's growth. Tell your doctor if the child using this medication is not growing or gaining weight properly.

If a child is using deferoxamine, a doctor should check the child's growth every 3 months. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your child's doctor.

If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into a vein, you may need to temporarily stop using deferoxamine. Be sure the doctor knows ahead of time that you are using this medication.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using Desferal (deferoxamine)?Do not use this medication if you are allergic to deferoxamine, if you have kidney disease, or if you are unable to urinate.

Before using deferoxamine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • vision or hearing problems;

  • asthma or other breathing disorder;

  • heart disease;

  • low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia); or

  • a parathyroid disorder.

If you have any of the conditions listed above, you may not be able to use deferoxamine or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether deferoxamine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Long-term use of deferoxamine can slow a child's growth. Tell your doctor if the child using this medication is not growing or gaining weight properly.

How should I take Desferal (deferoxamine)?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the instructions on your prescription label.

Deferoxamine is sometimes given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and may be given for several hours in a row.

Deferoxamine is also sometimes injected into a muscle using an infusion pump over several hours. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will set up the infusion pump. You may be given instructions on how to use the pump at home. Do not use this medicine at home if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles, syringes, and other equipment used in giving the medicine.

Deferoxamine must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before injecting it. The mixed solution should be clear with a colorless or slightly yellow appearance.

Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

It is best to use deferoxamine within 3 hours after mixing it, but you must use it within 24 hours. Throw away the medicine if it has been longer than 24 hours since it was mixed with the liquid.

Each dose of this medication is for a single use only. Throw away any mixed medicine that is leftover after giving the injection.

Use each needle and syringe only one time. Throw away used needles and syringes in a puncture-proof container. If your medicine does not come with such a container, ask your pharmacist where you can get one. Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets. Your pharmacist can tell you how to properly dispose of the container.

Store unmixed deferoxamine at room temperature. You may store mixed medicine at room temperature for up to 24 hours, but do not refrigerate it. Your doctor may tell you to take vitamin C supplements while you are using deferoxamine. Take only the amount of vitamin C your doctor has prescribed. Using too much vitamin C while you are using deferoxamine can cause heart problems.

If a child is using deferoxamine, a doctor should check the child's growth every 3 months. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your child's doctor.

If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into a vein, you may need to temporarily stop using deferoxamine. Be sure the doctor knows ahead of time that you are using this medication.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since deferoxamine is most often used only when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are using the medication regularly, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a deferoxamine overdose may include slow or fast heart rate, nausea or stomach discomfort, headache, problems with speech or vision, pale skin, feeling drowsy or agitated, urinating less than usual, feeling light-headed, fainting, or coma.

What should I avoid while using Desferal (deferoxamine)?

Deferoxamine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Desferal (deferoxamine) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; joint or muscle pain; fever; headache; nausea or vomiting; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using deferoxamine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • fast heartbeats;

  • blue lips, skin, or fingernails;

  • severe, watery, bloody diarrhea with cramping;

  • cough, wheezing, gasping, or other breathing problems;

  • stuffy nose, fever, redness or swelling around your nose and eyes, scabbing inside your nose;

  • stomach or back pain, coughing up blood;

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;

  • vision or hearing problems; or

  • leg cramps, bone problems, or growth changes (in a child using this medication).

Keep using deferoxamine and talk to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • numbness or burning pain anywhere in the body;

  • warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under the skin;

  • mild itching or skin rash;

  • mild diarrhea, nausea, or upset stomach;

  • dizziness;

  • reddish colored urine; or

  • pain, burning, swelling, redness, irritation, or a hard lump where the medicine was injected.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Desferal (deferoxamine)?

Before using deferoxamine, tell your doctor if you are also using prochlorperazine (Compazine) or a vitamin C supplement. You may not be able to use deferoxamine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs that can affect deferoxamine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist has information about deferoxamine written for health professionals that you may read.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 4/12/2009 4:39:53 PM.
  • Desferal Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Desferal Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Desferal MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Deferoxamine Prescribing Information (FDA)

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