Deferasirox is a drug to treat iron buildup in the blood. This medicine is usually given to people who have had repeated blood transfusions. In addition, this drug is also used in non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia conditions .

Deferasirox is an iron chelating agent that works by binding to iron so that it can be excreted in the stool. Deferasirox is consumed to prevent iron buildup that can damage the heart, liver, or pancreas.

Deferasirox trademarks: Deferasirox, Dextron, Exjade, Kalsirox

What is Deferasirox

class Iron chelating agent
Category Prescription drug
Benefit Treating iron overload due to repeated blood transfusions or thalassemia disease that does not require blood transfusions ( non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia)
Consumed by Adults and children
Deferasirox for pregnant and lactating women Category C: Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.

Deferasirox can be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Drug form Dispersible tablets and film-coated tablets

Precautions Before Taking Deferasirox

Deferasirox should only be consumed according to a doctor's prescription. Below are some things that need to be considered before consuming deferasirox:

  • Do not take deferasirox if you are allergic to this drug. Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, dehydration , anemia, gastrointestinal bleeding , peptic ulcer, myelodysplastic syndrome , or thrombocytopenia .
  • Tell your doctor if you have HIV/AIDS or are undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy , or therapy with corticosteroid drugs.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Do not drive a vehicle or do activities that require alertness after taking deferasirox, because this drug can cause dizziness.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while undergoing treatment with deferasirox, because it can increase the risk of side effects.
  • See your doctor immediately if you experience a drug allergic reaction , serious side effects, or overdose after taking deferasirox.

Dosage and Instructions for Use Deferasirox

The following is the dose of deferasirox based on the condition, drug form, and age of the patient:

Condition: Iron buildup due to repeated and continuous blood transfusions

Form of drug: dispersible tablets

  • Adults: Initial dose of 20 mg/kg, once daily. The dose can be increased or decreased by 5–10 mg/kg, every 3–6 months. The maximum dose is 40 mg/kg body weight per day. Discontinue treatment if iron levels in the body (serum ferritin concentration) fall to <500 mcg/L.
  • Children >5–17 years: Same dose as adults.
  • Children aged 2–5 years: 20 mg/kg, once a day. Dosage can be changed according to the patient's body response.

Condition: Non–transfusion-dependent thalassemia (NTDT) type of thalassemia

  • Adult: Initial dose 10 mg/kg, once daily. The dose may be increased to 20 mg/kg per day, after 4 weeks of treatment, if the serum ferritin concentration is >15 mg Fe/g. The dose can be increased or decreased again by 5–10 mg/kg, every 3–6 months.
  • Children: 10 mg/kg body weight per day.

How to Take Deferasirox Correctly

Follow the doctor 's recommendations and read the instructions for use on the drug packaging before taking deferasirox. Do not increase or decrease your dose without your doctor's permission.

Deferasirox dispersible tablets need to be taken on an empty stomach or at least 30 minutes before eating. Dissolve the dispersible tablet in water, orange juice, or apple juice. Wait until the drug dissolves, stir, then drink.

If you forget to take deferasirox, take this medicine immediately if the break with the next usage schedule is not too close. If it is close, ignore it and do not double the next dose.

As long as deferasirox is used, your doctor may ask you to take a blood test and urine test to monitor iron levels in the blood or make sure there are no side effects due to drug consumption.

Store deferasirox in its packaging in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and keep drugs out of reach of children.

Deferasirox interactions with other drugs

Drug interactions that can occur when deferasirox is used together with other drugs are:

  • Decreased effectiveness of deferasirox when taken with antacids
  • Decreased levels of deferasirox when taken with cholestyramine, carbamazepine , rifampicin or phenytoin
  • Increased blood levels of duloxetine, theophylline , repaglinide, or paclitaxel
  • Decreased effectiveness of ciclosporin , simvastatin, or birth control pills
  • Increased risk of bleeding when used with aspirin

Deferasirox Side Effects and Dangers

Side effects that may arise after taking deferasirox are:

  • Nauseous
  • Vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizzy

Contact your doctor if the above side effects do not improve. Call your doctor right away if you experience serious side effects, such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Fever , chills, or sore throat
  • Infrequent urination
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Deaf or hearing loss
  • Easy bruising
  • Bloody or black stools
  • Persistent vomiting, severe stomach pain, loss of appetite, or jaundice
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