Deferiprone is a drug to treat iron overload in thalassemia patients who regularly undergo blood transfusions. Blood transfusions that are routinely carried out run the risk of increasing iron levels in the body.

Excess iron in the body can cause certain disorders and diseases, such as heart failure, liver disease, or diabetes. Deferiprone will work by binding iron and removing it through urine.

Deferiprone trademarks: Deferiprone, Defiron, Ferriprox, Oferlod

What is Deferiprone

class Prescription drug
Category Iron binder (chelation) drugs
Benefit Overcoming iron overload in thalassemia sufferers who routinely undergo  blood transfusions .
Consumed by Mature
Deferiprone for pregnant and lactating women Category D:  There is positive evidence of a risk to the human fetus, but the benefits may outweigh the risks, for example in dealing with life-threatening situations.

It is not known whether deferiprone is absorbed into breast milk or not. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks.  

Drug form Tablets and syrup

Precautions Before Taking Deferiprone

Before taking this drug, you need to pay attention to the following things:

  • Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have. Deferiprone should not be taken by patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have had or have a low white blood cell count, such as neutropenia or agranulocytosis . Deferiprone should not be given to patients with these conditions.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or are suffering from liver disease, kidney  disease, heart disease, infectious disease, electrolyte disturbances  , or have a weak immune system, for example due to HIV .
  • Deferiprone can make users more susceptible to infection. As much as possible avoid close contact with people with infectious diseases that are easily transmitted, such as the flu.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements, or herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Use effective birth control for up to 3–6 months after treatment with deferiprone.
  • Do not breastfeed while taking deferiprone for up to 2 weeks after taking the last dose.
  • See your doctor right away if you have an allergic drug reaction, serious side effect, or overdose after taking deferiprone.

Dosage and Instructions for Use Deferiprone

Deferiprone dosage can be different in each patient. This will be adjusted to the patient's condition and response to treatment. This drug is intended to treat iron overload in thalassemia patients who routinely perform blood transfusions.

In general, the dose of deferiprone for adults is 25 mg/kg, 3 times a day. Medicines can be taken in the morning, afternoon and evening. The dose can be increased to a maximum of 100 mg/kg body weight per day.

How to Take Deferiprone Correctly

Follow the doctor 's advice and read the information listed on the medicine package before taking deferiprone. Do not reduce or increase your dose without consulting your doctor first.

Deferiprone can be taken before or after meals. To reduce nausea, you can consume it after eating.

If you are taking antacids or supplements containing iron, aluminum, or zinc, it is best to take them 4 hours before or after taking deferiprone.

Try to take deferiprone at the same time every day for maximum treatment.

To take deferiprone syrup, use the measuring device available on the drug packaging or the one given by the doctor. Do not use other measuring devices or household spoons, as the dose may not be as prescribed.

If you forget to take deferiprone, take this medicine immediately if the break with the next consumption schedule is not too close. If it's close, ignore it and don't double the dose.

Store deferiprone at room temperature and avoid direct sunlight. Keep this medicine out of reach of children.

Deferiprone Interactions with Other Drugs

The following are some of the effects of drug interactions that can occur when deferiprone is used together with other drugs:

  • Increased serum concentrations of deferiprone in the body when used with  phenylbuzaton
  • Decreased serum concentrations and effect of deferiprone when used with antacids or supplements and products containing aluminum, zinc , or iron
  • Increased risk of severe infection if used with drugs that can lower white blood cells, such as  allopurinol , everolimus, azathioprine , blinatumomab, cisplatin , tocilizumab, or clozapine

Deferiprone Side Effects and Dangers

Some of the side effects that can occur after taking deferiprone are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Urine is brownish red
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain or heartburn
  • Joint pain

Check with your doctor if the side effects above don't subside immediately or get worse. Taking deferiprone can also increase your risk of infection, as it can cause a low white blood cell count.

Immediately see a doctor if you experience complaints that could indicate an infectious disease , such as fever, chills, or sore throat that doesn't go away.

In addition, you should also see a doctor immediately if you experience an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects, such as:

  • Severe dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Reddish purple rash or patches
  • Heart palpitations or rapid heartbeat
  • Fainting or seizure
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