What is erythropoietin?
Erythropoietin (also known as EPO) is a growth factor that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Most of the cells in the blood are red blood cells, whose main function is to carry oxygen throughout the body.
Erythropoietin is used to treat anemia resulting from kidney failure or cancer treatment. It is considered to be an alternative to blood transfusions.
There are several different types of erythropoietins. Procrit® and Epogen® are two brands of epoetin alfa. Aranesp® (darbepoetin alfa) is another type of erythropoietin. The major difference between Procrit/Epogen and Aranesp is that Aranesp is given less often than Procrit. Otherwise, all three agents work equally well in the treatment of anemia.
Dosage & When it is to be taken :
Adults: Subcutaneous- 3-times/week dosing: 150 units/kg 3 times/week. Children: IV- Weekly dosing: 600 units/kg/week (max, 40,000 units/week).
How it should be taken :
It comes as a solution for injection to be administered by a healthcare provider under the skin or into the vein.
Warnings and Precautions : Caution should be exercised in patients with history of blood clotting problems, cancer, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, porphyria, blood clot events, heart attack, infections, seizures, stroke, tumors, heart...