What Is Darbepoetin Alfa?
Darbepoetin alfa is a man-made form of a protein that helps your body produce red blood cells. This protein may be reduced when you have kidney failure or use certain medications. When fewer red blood cells are produced, you can develop a condition called anemia.
Darbepoetin alfa is used to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy or chronic kidney disease.
Darbepoetin alfa may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
This medicine can increase your risk of life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke. Darbepoetin alfa may also shorten remission time or survival time in some people with certain types of cancer. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using darbepoetin alfa.
You should not use this medicine if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, or if you have ever had pure red cell aplasia (PRCA, a type of anemia) caused by using darbepoetin alfa or epoetin alfa (Epogen or Procrit).
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to darbepoetin alfa or epoetin alfa (Epogen or Procrit), or if you have:
- untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure; or
- if you have ever had pure red cell aplasia (PRCA, a type of anemia) caused by using darbepoetin alfa or epoetin alfa.
Darbepoetin alfa may shorten remission time in some people with head and neck cancer who are also being treated with radiation. Darbepoetin alfa may also shorten survival time in certain people with breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, head and neck cancer, cervical cancer, or lymphoid cancer. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.
To make sure darbepoetin alfa is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- heart disease, high blood pressure;
- kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
- a history of stroke, heart attack, or blood clots;
- a seizure disorder; or
- if you are allergic to latex.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether darbepoetin alfa passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
Darbepoetin Alfa Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, sweating; rapid pulse; wheezing, difficult breathing; severe dizziness or fainting; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Darbepoetin alfa can increase your risk of life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke. This risk will increase the longer you use darbepoetin alfa. Seek emergency medical help if you have:
- heart attack symptoms–chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
- signs of a stroke–sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
- signs of a blood clot–pain, swelling, warmth, redness, cold feeling, or pale appearance of an arm or leg; or
- dangerously high blood pressure–severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, nosebleed, anxiety, confusion, severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- unusual weakness or tiredness;
- a seizure (convulsions); or
- shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain.
Common side effects may include:
- low blood pressure during dialysis;
- cough, trouble breathing;
- stomach pain; or
- swelling in your hands or feet.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Darbepoetin Alfa Interactions
Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Other drugs may interact with darbepoetin alfa, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Darbepoetin Alfa Dosage
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Darbepoetin alfa is injected under the skin, or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used. You must also know how to properly measure a full or partial dose of this medicine.
Darbepoetin alfa is given every 1 to 4 weeks, depending on the condition you are treating. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully.
You may need frequent medical tests to be sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects. Your injections may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using darbepoetin alfa. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Call your doctor if you feel weak, tired, light-headed, or short of breath, or if your skin looks pale. These may be signs that your body has stopped responding to darbepoetin alfa.
You may need to take blood pressure medication while you are using darbepoetin alfa. Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Store in the refrigerator and protect from light. Do not freeze darbepoetin alfa, and throw away the medication if it has become frozen.
Do not shake the medicine. Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Each single-use vial (bottle) or prefilled syringe is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.
Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof “sharps” disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of darbepoetin alfa.
You need to remember certain points such as –
|If you are a woman who is pregnant or wants to have a baby and you are taking darbepoetin alfa, let your doctor know right away. This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby. Use a birth control method while you are taking this Renal medicine. Ask your doctor to help you choose a method of birth control that will work for you.|
|For the safety of the baby, breastfeeding isn’t recommended during renal treatment. Many Renal drugs like darbepoetin alfa, may appear in high levels in breast milk and could potentially harm your nursing baby. To get more information, you should discuss this with your doctor. Your health care provider might recommend that you stop breast-feeding temporarily or permanently — depending on how long you need to take the medication.|
|You will need to have regular blood tests and check-ups during your treatment with darbepoetin alfa. Blood tests are done to help watch your body’s response to treatment. They can show small changes before problems get serious. Keeping track of your results lets your doctor take action as soon as your blood counts change to help prevent many kidney-related problems and renal treatment side effects.|
|Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to darbepoetin alfa kidney drug or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes or preservatives. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.|
|Whether it’s safe to drink alcoholic beverages during treatment with darbepoetin alfa depends on a number of factors, including which drugs the patient is receiving. Alcohol can interfere with the way some Renal oncology drugs work, so patients should speak with their doctors about any potential side effects of drinking during treatment.|
|Always consult your doctor and pharmacist about taking any other prescription or non-prescription medication, including herbs, supplements and street drugs. This medicine may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how darbepoetin alfa works. Taking darbepoetin alfa together with certain medicines or products may cause serious side effects.|
|If you miss a dose of darbepoetin alfa, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. If it is close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your dosing schedule. Do not use extra dose to make up for a missed dose. Please consult your doctor to discuss changes in your dosing schedule or a new schedule to make up for missed doses, if you have missed too many doses recently.|
|Taking a single dose of expired medicine is unlikely to produce an adverse event. Expired drug may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use expired drug. If you’ve had a medicine for a while, check the expiry date before using it. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.|
|Before using darbepoetin alfa, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially if you have liver problems (including hepatitis B or C infection), diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, heart or pancreas problems, or low blood potassium levels etc.|
What are the storage instructions for darbepoetin alfa ?
Patients must properly store the drug to retain its quality and efficacy. Following storage instructions will be helpful in storing the drug in the best of manner.
- Store darbepoetin alfa DERISE at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F).
- Consider storing your medications separately from your other family members. This will make it less likely that you take the wrong ones by mistake.
- Store the medicine in a safe place out of the reach of children and pets.
- Do not use darbepoetin alfa if the liquid in the vial looks discolored or cloudy, or if the liquid has lumps, flakes, or particles.
- Keep this medicine away from heat, light and humidity. Improper storage can affect the effectiveness and shelf life of your medicine.
- Do not Store darbepoetin alfa in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
In order to legally purchase this medicine from anticancercure.com, you’ll require a prescription from your Registered Medical Practitioner.
The information provided here is for general educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or pharmaceutical advice which should be sought from qualified medical and pharmaceutical advisers.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children and away from pets, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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.