Epogen

brand

What is Epogen?

Common Brand(s): Epogen, Procrit

This medication is used to treat anemia (low red blood cell count) in people with long-term serious kidney disease (chronic kidney failure), people receiving zidovudine to treat HIV, and people receiving chemotherapy for some types of cancer (cancer that does not involve the bone marrow or blood cells). It may also be used in anemic patients to reduce the need for blood transfusions before certain planned surgeries that have a high risk of blood loss (usually given with an anticoagulant/"blood thinner" medication such as warfarin to lower the risk of serious blood clots). Epoetin alfa works by signaling the bone marrow to make more red blood cells. This medication is very similar to the natural substance in your body (erythropoietin) that prevents anemia.

Uses

  • chemotherapy-induced anemia
  • anemia of prematurity
  • zidovudine-induced anemia
  • reduction of allogeneic blood transfusion in surgery
  • anemia due to chemotherapy and radiotherapy combination
  • anemia in chronic kidney disease

Usage Instructions

Read the Medication Guide and Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication is given as an injection under the skin or into a vein as directed by your doctor, usually 1 to 3 times a week. Patients getting this medication before surgery may have a special dosing schedule. Hemodialysis patients should receive this medication by injection into a vein.

If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional.

Do not shake this medication. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. If you are injecting this medication under the skin, before each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the injection site each time to lessen injury under the skin.

Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment. Blood tests should be done often to check how well this medication is working and to decide the correct dose for you. Consult your doctor for more details.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it on the same day(s) of the week as directed.

Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

It may take 2 to 6 weeks before your red blood cell count increases. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse.

Storage

Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Protect from light. Store the medication in the original carton until ready for use. Let the medication come to room temperature before using. For the single-use vials, discard any unused medication right away. For the multi-use vials, store opened vials in the refrigerator and discard any unused medication after 3 weeks. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.