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This medication is used by people with a certain type of blood disorder (thalassemia) who have too much iron in the body, caused by repeated blood transfusions. Blood transfusions help people with blood disorders but they also bring extra iron into the body. It is important to get rid of the extra iron because high levels of iron can cause health problems (such as heart failure, liver disease, diabetes, delayed growth in children). Deferiprone is used if you have trouble taking other traditional iron-removal medications or you continue to have high iron levels after taking other iron-removal medications.
Deferiprone belongs to a class of drugs known as iron chelators. It works by attaching to iron which helps your body pass the extra iron out in the urine.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking deferiprone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 2 or 3 times a day. Taking this medication with food may help lessen nausea.
This medication comes in different tablets that are made to be taken either twice a day or 3 times a day. Some tablets may not be substituted for each other, even if they are the same strength. Carefully follow your doctor's directions for how often and when you should take your dose. If you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are taking the 1000 milligrams tablets made to be taken twice a day, avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. Doing so may change how well the medication works and increase the risk of side effects. Take the tablets twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.
If you are taking the 1000 milligrams tablets made to be taken 3 times a day, take it in the morning, at midday, and in the evening.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, also read the Patient Instructions for Use. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. After you swallow each dose, mix some water in the measuring device/spoon and drink the mixture.
Take this medication 4 hours apart from products that may bind to it, decreasing its effectiveness. Ask your pharmacist about the other products you take. Some examples include antacids, vitamins/minerals (such as those containing iron, aluminum, zinc), among others.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment (including lab test results). Your treatment may need to be adjusted or stopped if you develop serious side effects. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Keep all medical/lab appointments.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
See also Warning and How To Use sections.
Nausea, vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, or joint pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
This medication may cause your urine to turn a reddish-brown color. This effect is harmless and will disappear when the medication is stopped.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, bloody stools.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking deferiprone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, low white blood cell count.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Your doctor may direct you to get a pregnancy test before starting this medication. Women taking this medication should use reliable forms of birth control during treatment and for 6 months after stopping treatment. Men using this medication should use reliable forms of birth control during treatment and for 3 months after stopping treatment. If you or your partner become pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
It is unknown if deferiprone passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this medication and for 2 weeks after stopping treatment is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. For the liquid, store it only in the original container and carton to protect it from light. After the bottle is first opened, throw away any unused liquid after 35 days. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
See also How To Use section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: vision problems, weak muscles, unusual/slowed movements.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory tests (such as liver function tests, complete blood counts, iron (ferritin) and zinc levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
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