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All about: deferasirox

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Generic Name: deferasirox (de FER a sir ox)
Brand Names: Exjade

What is deferasirox?

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

Deferasirox is used to treat iron overload caused by blood transfusions in adults and children at least 2 years old.

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

What is the most important information I should know about deferasirox?

Before taking deferasirox, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, or problems with your hearing or vision.

Take deferasirox on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before you eat.

Do not chew, crush, or swallow the deferasirox tablet whole. Place it into a glass of water, orange juice, or apple juice and allow the tablet to disperse in the liquid. The tablet will not dissolve completely. Drink this mixture right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more liquid to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

Use 3.5 ounces (just under 1/2 cup) of liquid if your deferasirox dose is less than 1000 milligrams (1 gram). Use 7 ounces (just under 1 cup) of liquid if your deferasirox dose is more than 1000 milligrams.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor if you have a severe skin rash.

While you are taking deferasirox, do not take antacids that contain aluminum, such as Amphojel, Gaviscon, Maalox, Mi-Acid, Mylanta, Rulox, and others.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using deferasirox?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to deferasirox.

Before taking deferasirox, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney or liver disease;
  • vision or hearing problems; or

  • a weak immune system caused by disease (such as cancer, HIV, or AIDS), or by receiving steroids, chemotherapy, or radiation.

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

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to 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 deferasirox 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.

How should I take deferasirox?

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

Take deferasirox on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before food.

Take the medication at the same time every day.

Do not chew, crush, or swallow the deferasirox tablet whole. Place it into a glass of water, orange juice, or apple juice and allow the tablet to disperse in the liquid. The tablet will not dissolve completely. Drink this mixture right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more liquid to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

Use 3.5 ounces, or just under 1/2 cup of liquid if your deferasirox dose is less than 1000 milligrams (1 gram). Use 7 ounces, or just under 1 cup of liquid if your deferasirox dose is more than 1000 milligrams.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Store deferasirox tablets at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take 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 deferasirox may include nausea or vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking deferasirox?

Deferasirox 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.

Deferasirox side effects

Stop using deferasirox and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • severe skin rash;

  • problems with vision or hearing;

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • drowsiness, confusion, mood changes, loss of appetite, nausea vomiting; or

  • swelling or numbness in your hands or feet.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting;

  • fever;

  • mild skin rash; or

  • headache, cough, sinus pain, runny or stuffy nose.

This list is not complete and other side effects may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effects.

What other drugs will affect deferasirox?

Do not use other iron chelating medicines with deferasirox unless your doctor has told you to.

While you are taking deferasirox, do not take antacids that contain aluminum, such as Amphojel, Gaviscon, Maalox, Mi-Acid, Mylanta, Rulox, and others.

There may be other drugs that can interact with deferasirox. 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 pharmacist can provide more information about deferasirox.

  • 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: 1.06. Revision Date: 08/03/2007 11:21:29 AM.

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