Deferiprone (By mouth)


Deferiprone (de-FER-i-prone)

Treats iron toxicity (too much iron in the blood). This medicine is an iron chelator (binder).

Brand Name(s)


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Take the first dose of this medicine in the morning, the second dose at midday, and the third dose in the evening with meals, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

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

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how deferiprone works. Tell your doctor if you are using diclofenac, probenecid, or silymarin (milk thistle).
  • Do not take anything that contains aluminum, iron, or zinc within 4 hours before or after you take deferiprone. This includes antacids, multivitamins, and supplements.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, blood or bone marrow problems, or any type of infection.
  • This medicine lowers the number of white blood cells. This weakens your immune system, so you may get infections more easily. Wash your hands often. Avoid people who are sick.
  • This medicine may cause your urine to turn red or brownish. This is normal.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting

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

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain
  • Red or brown urine

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 12/4/2015

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