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Epoetin Alfa (e POE e tin AL fa)

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Epogen; Procrit

Brand Names: Canada

Eprex

Warning

  • People with high hemoglobin levels had a higher chance of blood clots, like heart attack and stroke, and death with this drug. Talk with the doctor.
  • People with some types of cancer have died sooner when using this drug. This drug also raised the chance of tumor growth and the tumor happening again in these people. Talk with the doctor.
  • The doctor will need to watch your child’s blood cell counts and follow your child closely to change the dose to match the body’s needs. Talk with the doctor.
  • Cancer patients can only get this drug if doctors or hospitals are in the ESA APPRISE Oncology Program.
  • If your child will be having surgery, talk with the doctor. Your child may need to take another drug to keep from getting blood clots while getting this drug.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat anemia.
  • It is used to help avoid the need for blood transfusions.
  • It may be given to your child for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

All products:

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child has very high blood pressure.
  • If your child has a kind of anemia called Pure Red Cell Aplasia (PRCA).

Multi-dose container:

  • Do not give this drug to a newborn. It has benzyl alcohol.
  • If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby. Be sure your child does not take this drug if she is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of their drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that your child is using this drug.
  • This drug is made from human plasma (part of the blood) and may have viruses that may cause disease. This drug is screened, tested, and treated to lower the chance that it carries an infection. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have your child’s blood pressure checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or blurred eyesight.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.
  • Seizures.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Pale skin.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Trouble walking.
  • Change in balance.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Irritation where the shot is given.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain.
  • Cough.
  • Muscle spasm.
  • Dizziness.
  • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
  • Weight loss.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Itching.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
  • Give as you have been told, even if your child feels well.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.
  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
  • This drug may be given as a shot into a vein.
  • Your child’s doctor may teach you how to give the shot.
  • Follow how to give closely if you are giving the shot at home.
  • Do not shake the solution.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • Do not use if it has been frozen.
  • Do not give into red or irritated skin.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All products:

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Protect from light.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Single-use vial:

  • Throw away any part not used after use.

Multi-dose container:

  • Throw away any part not used after 3 weeks.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.