Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) is an injectable drug used to treat low red blood cell counts (anemia) either in people with long-term kidney failure, also known as chronic renal failure, or in people with certain types of cancer (non-myeloid) who are receiving chemotherapy. In clinical trials, Aranesp was shown to effectively increase the number of red blood cells in most patients with kidney disease.
Aranesp is prescribed to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy. Anemia is a common side effect of chemotherapy, which can damage the production of red blood cells.^ Back To Top
Aranesp has been approved by the FDA to treat anemia associated with chronic renal failure (renal disease) in people with reduced kidney function, people who are on dialysis, or those receiving certain HIV treatment.^ Back To Top
Moderate side effects can include headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cough, or constipation. Serious side effects can include pain/irritation/redness/bruising at the injection site, other pain (e.g., muscle, joint, back, stomach, or chest pain), unusual tiredness/weakness, and/or swelling of the arms and legs.^ Back To Top
Together with the FDA, Aranesp’ maker, Amgen, has sent a letter to doctors advising them of a revision to the warning label for Aranesp. Two recent studies with other drugs in the same class of Aranesp, known as erythropoietic drugs, have shown that using the drugs at higher-than-recommended doses increases the risk of adverse effects including extreme high blood pressure, blood clots and death.^ Back To Top
Aranesp is contraindicated in patients with uncontrolled hypertension and known hypersensitivity to the active substance.^ Back To Top
What is darbepoetin alfa?Darbepoetin alfa is a man-made form of a protein that helps your body produce red blood cells. The amount of this protein in your body may be reduced when you have kidney failure or use certain medications. When fewer red blood cells are produced, you can develop a condition called anemia.
What should I discuss with my doctor before taking Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa)?
Before using Aranesp, tell your doctor if you have:
What other drugs will affect Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa)?
It is not known whether Aranesp will interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors.^ Back To Top
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