Pronunciation: de FER i prone

Brand: Ferriprox

What is the most important information I should know about deferiprone?

Do not use deferiprone if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, or sores in your mouth and throat.

What is deferiprone?

Deferiprone binds to iron and removes it from the blood stream.

Deferiprone is used to treat iron overload caused by blood transfusions in people with certain hereditary red blood cell disorders (thalassemia syndrome).

Deferiprone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking deferiprone?

You should not use deferiprone if you are allergic to it.

To make sure deferiprone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease; or
  • a weak immune system.

This medicine can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant, and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine.

It is not known whether deferiprone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking deferiprone.

Deferiprone is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take deferiprone?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Deferiprone is usually taken 3 times per day. Take the first daily dose each morning, the second dose at mid-day, and the third dose in the evening.

Take with food if deferiprone upsets your stomach. You may also take the medicine without food.

Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight. Deferiprone doses are based on weight, and any changes may affect the dose.

Deferiprone may cause your urine to turn a reddish-brown color. This side effect is usually not harmful. Call your doctor if you also have upper stomach pain, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes).

Deferiprone can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood will need to be tested weekly while you are taking deferiprone. Your treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking deferiprone?

Avoid taking an antacid or mineral supplement within 4 hours before or 4 hours after you take deferiprone.

Avoid taking an herbal supplement containing milk thistle while you are taking deferiprone.

Do not use other iron chelating medicines such as deferasirox (Exjade) or deferoxamine (Desferal), unless your doctor has told you to.

What are the possible side effects of deferiprone?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with deferiprone.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches;
  • flu symptoms; or
  • sores in your mouth and throat.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;
  • mild stomach pain;
  • joint pain; or
  • abnormal liver function tests.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect deferiprone?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cancer medicine, steroids, and medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection.

Other drugs may interact with deferiprone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about deferiprone.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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