Disease Information & Support


The Word:


Generic name Darbepoetin alfa
Pronunciation dar-be-POH-e-tin AL-fa
Brand name(s), other common name(s) Aranesp®
Drug type  Antianemic
How the drug is given Intravenously (IV) or subcutaneous (SC) injection

Darbepoetin alfa stimulates the marrow to produce red cells. It is FDA approved to treat people who have severe anemia who are receiving chemotherapy for nonmyeloid malignancies. Darbepoetin alfa has no direct effect on cancer cells.

Side effects needing medical attention: Abdominal or stomach pain; accumulation of pus; arm, back or jaw pain; blurred vision; breathing difficulties (irregular, noisy, troubled at rest), shortness of breath or rapid breathing; discomfort, tightness or heaviness in chest; chest pain; confusion; difficulty in speaking (slow speech or inability to speak); double vision; chills; cough-producing mucus; decrease in amount of urine; diarrhea; dilated neck veins; dizziness; fainting or lightheadedness; fast, slow or irregular heartbeat; fatigue or tiredness (extreme or unusual); fever; headache; nausea or vomiting; pain, tenderness, swelling or warmth over injection site; pounding in the ears; rapid or pounding pulse; skin discoloration at injection site; sweating; swelling of ankles, face, fingers, feet, hands or lower legs; unconsciousness; weight gain; wheezing; constipation; general feeling of discomfort or illness; lack or loss of strength; loss of appetite; muscle aches, pains or stiffness; pain in joints; shivering; sore throat; trouble sleeping.


For information on how to manage the costs of drug therapy, please see Financial Matters and Prescription Drug Coverage, or to speak with an Information Specialist, call (800) 955-4572.

last updated on Monday, October 15, 2012