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Epoetin Alfa

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agent Eprex® Adult, Cancer-related

Epoetin Alfa - What is it for

Epoetin alfa is a medication that works like erythropoietin – the body's natural hormone responsible for stimulating the production of red blood cells. It is used in the treatment of anemia, a condition whereby red blood cells are below normal range.

Epoetin Alfa - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Epoetin Alfa cause?

  • Flu-like syndrome e.g. fever, chills, headache, body aches
  • Usually occurs at the start of treatment. Maintain hydration – drink sufficient fluids – and take paracetamol if necessary.   
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Pain and redness at injection site
  • To reduce symptoms, alternate injection site and apply cold compress.

Inform your doctor is any of the following occurs:

  • Fever of 38°C or higher
  • Increased fatigue, weakness and pale skin colour
  • Severe headache, giddiness, light-headedness
  • Rapid heartbeat, sudden onset of chest pain or breathlessness
  • Signs of blood clot over a vein or calf tenderness
  • Seizures
  • Allergic reaction e.g. rash, itch, swelling, dizziness, breathing difficulty

Before taking Epoetin Alfa , what precautions must I follow?

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Epoetin Alfa ?

Epoetin Alfa - Dosage and How to Use

How should Epoetin Alfa be used?

Epoetin alfa is an injection with various dosing schedules, that may be given via the intravenous or subcutaneous route. Follow the dosing schedule instructed by your doctor.

However, subcutaneous epoetin alfa should NOT be used to treat anemia due to chronic kidney disease.

Do not shake the syringe vigorously.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of epoetin alfa, contact your doctor for further instructions on what to do.

What should I do if I overdose?

If you overdose on this medication, inform your doctor immediately.

Epoetin Alfa - Handling

How should I handle Epoetin Alfa safely?

Be careful to hold the syringe securely. Do not point the needle at anyone when uncapped.

Epoetin Alfa - Storage

How should I store Epoetin Alfa ?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.;#

How should I dispose of Epoetin Alfa safely?

Dispose the needle in a hard puncture-proof container. Do not attempt to re-cap the needle after use. Do not throw the exposed needle directly into the dustbin or leave it lying about. ​

Epoetin Alfa - Additional Information

  • Updated on Monday, February 18, 2019
  • Article contributed by Department of Pharmacy National Cancer Centre Singapore

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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