Deferasirox is used to treat adults and children 2 years of age and older who have too much iron in their body because they received many blood transfusions. It is also used to treat adults and children 10 years of age and older who have too much iron in their body because of a genetic blood disorder called non–transfusion-dependent thalassemia (NTDT). Deferasirox is in a class of medications called iron chelators. It works by attaching to iron in the body so that it can be excreted (removed from the body) in feces.
Side Effects Of Deferasirox
Deferasirox may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those mentioned in the WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately:
- hearing loss
- vision problems
- rash, hives, peeling or blistering skin, fever, swollen lymph nodes
- difficulty breathing or swallowing; swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes; hoarseness
- unusual bruising or bleeding
Deferasirox may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking deferasirox:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to deferasirox, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in deferasirox tablets, granules, or tablets for suspension. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS section and any of the following: alosetron (Lotronex), aprepitant (Cinvanti, Emend), budesonide (Entocort, Pulmicort, Uceris, in Symbicort), buspirone, cholestyramine (Prevalite), colesevelam (Welchol), colestipol (Colestid), conivaptan (Vaprisol), cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), darifenacin (Enablex), darunavir (Prezista, in Prezcobix), dasatinib (Sprycel), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), dronedarone (Multaq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), eletriptan (Relpax), eplerenone (Inspra), ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, Migergot), everolimus (Afinitor, Zortress), felodipine, fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Subsys, others), fluticasone (Arnuity Ellipta, Flovent, in Breo Ellipta, Advair), hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir (in Kaletra), lovastatin (Altoprev), lurasidone (Latuda), maraviroc (Selzentry), midazolam, nisoldipine (Sular), paclitaxel (Abraxane, Taxol), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), phenobarbital, pimozide (Orap), quetiapine (Seroquel), quinidine (in Nuedexta), ramelteon (Rozerem), repaglinide (Prandin, in Prandimet), rifampin (Rimactane, Rifadin, in Rifamate, in Rifater), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra, Technivie, Viekira Pak), saquinavir (Invirase), sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra), simvastatin (Flolopid, Zocor, in Vytorin), siroliumus (Rapamune), tacrolimus (Astagraf, Envarsus, Prograf), theophylline (Theo-24), ticagrelor (Brilinta), tipranavir (Aptivus), tizanidine (Zanaflex), triazolam (Halcion), tolvaptan (Samsca), and vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- if you are taking aluminum-containing antacids such as Amphojel, Alternagel, Gaviscon, Maalox, or Mylanta, take them 2 hours before or after deferasirox.
- tell your doctor what over the counter products you are taking, especially melatonin, or caffeine supplements.
- tell your doctor if you have myelodysplastic syndrome (a severe problem with the bone marrow that has a high risk of developing into cancer), or cancer. Your doctor may tell you not to take deferasirox.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking deferasirox, call your doctor.
Dosage Of Deferasirox
Deferasirox comes as a tablet, granules, and a tablet for suspension (a tablet to dissolve in liquid) to take by mouth. It should be taken on an empty stomach once a day, at least 30 minutes before eating, The tablets and granules can also be taken with a light meal such as a whole-wheat English muffin with jelly and skim milk, or a small turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread. Take deferasirox at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take deferasirox exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Different deferasirox products are absorbed by the body in different ways and cannot be substituted for one another. If you need to switch from one deferasirox product to another, your doctor may need to adjust your dose. Each time you receive your medication, check to be sure that you have received the deferasirox product that was prescribed for you. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure that you received the right medication.
Swallow deferasirox tablets (Jadenu) with water or other liquid. If you have trouble swallowing the tablet, you may crush the tablet and mix it with soft food such as yogurt or applesauce immediately before taking it. However, do not crush the 90 mg tablet (Jadenu) using a professional crushing device that has jagged edges.
To take deferasirox granules (Jadenu), sprinkle the granules on soft food such as yogurt or applesauce immediately before taking.
To take deferasirox tablets for suspension (Exjade), follow these steps:
- Always dissolve the tablets for suspension in liquid before you take them. Do not chew or swallow the tablets for suspension whole.
- If you are taking less than 1000 mg of deferasirox, fill a cup halfway (about 3.5 oz/100 mL) with water, apple juice, or orange juice. If you are taking more than 1000 mg of deferasirox, fill a cup (about 7 oz/200 mL) with water, apple juice, or orange juice. If you are not sure how much deferasirox you are to take, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- Place the number of tablets your doctor has told you to take in the cup.
- Stir the liquid for 3 minutes to completely dissolve the tablets. The mixture may become thick as you stir it.
- Drink the liquid immediately.
- Add a small amount of liquid to the empty cup and stir. Swish the cup to dissolve any medication that is still in the glass or on the stirrer.
- Drink the rest of the liquid.
- Your doctor may adjust your dose of deferasirox not more than once every 3 to 6 months, depending on the results of your laboratory tests.
- Deferasirox removes extra iron from your body slowly over time. Continue to take deferasirox even if you feel well. Do not stop taking deferasirox without talking to your doctor.
Keep all appointments with your doctor. You will need to have hearing and eye exams before starting deferasirox and once a year while taking this medication.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.