Deferasirox (By mouth)

Introduction

Deferasirox (dee-FER-a-sir-ox)

Treats iron toxicity (too much iron in the blood) in patients who receive blood transfusions and in patients with non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia syndromes. This medicine is an iron chelator (binder).

Brand Name(s)

Exjade

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to deferasirox or if you have severe kidney disease, severe liver disease, cancer, or blood or bone marrow problems (such as myelodysplastic syndrome, low platelet counts).

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet for Suspension

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine at the same time each day on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before you eat.
  • Dissolve the tablet for suspension in water, orange juice, or apple juice. Mix well and then drink the mixture right away. To make sure you get all of the medicine, add more liquid to the glass, then drink all of this liquid too. Do not chew or swallow the tablet whole.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • You should not take this medicine and antacids that contain aluminum, such as Maalox® or Mylanta®, at the same time. Make sure your doctor knows if you use any other iron-binding medicine such as deferoxamine (Desferal®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you use midazolam (Versed®), paclitaxel (Taxol®), repaglinide (Prandin®), rifampicin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), medicine to lower high cholesterol (such as cholestyramine, colesevelam, colestipol, lovastatin, simvastatin, Questran®, Zocor®), medicine that weakens your immune system (such as cyclosporine, everolimus, sirolimus, tacrolimus, Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), medicine to treat seizures (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®), or birth control pills. Tell your doctor if you use cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril®), fluvoxamine (Luvox®), haloperidol (Haldol®), imipramine (Tofranil®), mexiletine (Mexitil®), olanzapine (Zyprexa®), theophylline (Theo-Dur®), tizanidine (Zanaflex®), zileuton (Zyflo®), or zolmitriptan (Zomig®).
  • Tell your doctor if you also use an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®), a steroid medicine (such as budesonide, fluticasone, prednisolone, prednisone, Flonase®, Rhinocort®), medicine to treat bone diseases or a bisphosphonate medicine (such as alendronate, etidronate, tiludronate, Didronel®, Fosamax®, Skelid®), medicine to treat HIV infection (such as darunavir, indinavir, lopinavir, maraviroc, ritonavir, saquinavir, tipranavir, Kaletra®, Norvir®, Prezista®, Selzentry®), or a blood thinner (such as ticagrelor, warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use alfentanil (Alfenta®), alosetron (Lotronex®), aprepitant (Emend®), buspirone (Buspar®), conivaptan (Vaprisol®), darifenacin (Enablex®), dasatinib (Sprycel®), dronedarone (Multaq®), duloxetine (Cymbalta®), eletriptan (Relpax®), eplerenone (Inspra®), felodipine (Plendil®), fentanyl (Sublimaze®), lurasidone (Latuda®), melatonin, nisoldipine (Sular®), pimozide (Orap®), quetiapine (Seroquel®), quinidine (Cardioquin®), ramelteon (Rozerem®), sildenafil (Viagra®), tacrine (Cognex®), tolvaptan (Samsca®), triazolam (Halcion®), vardenafil (Levitra®), or ergot medicines (such as dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, Cafergot®, Ergomar®, Wigraine®). Tell your doctor if you drink coffee or use products that contain caffeine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have kidney disease (such as Fanconi syndrome), liver disease, eye problems (such as cataracts, glaucoma), hearing problems, or stomach or bowel problems (such as ulcers or bleeding).
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have confusion, less urine than normal, muscle twitching, rapid weight gain, seizures, or swelling. These may be symptoms of a serious kidney problem.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have upper stomach pain, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain or cramping, black or tarry stools, constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds. These may be symptoms of a serious stomach or bowel problem.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loose skin, red skin lesions, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.
  • Rarely, this medicine can cause problems with your vision or hearing. Tell your doctor right away if you have trouble seeing or hearing while you are using this medicine.
  • If you have diarrhea or vomiting, drink plenty of water or fluids to keep your body hydrated.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools, yellow skin or eyes
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate, cloudy urine
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your face, hands, ankles, or feet
  • Red or black stools
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in vision
  • Hearing problems or loss of hearing
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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