Disease Information & Support

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Generic name Epoetin alfa
Pronunciation eh-POH-e-tin AL-fa
Brand name(s), other common name(s) Epogen®, Procrit®, EPO
Drug type  Antianemic
How the drug is given Subcutaneous (SC) injection or intravenously (IV)

Epoetin alfa is a synthetic version of human erythropoietin (EPO). EPO is produced naturally in the body, mostly by the kidneys. It stimulates the marrow to produce red blood cells. Epoetin alfa is FDA approved to treat people who have severe anemia in nonmyeloid malignancies where the anemia is due to cancer therapy.

Side effects needing medical attention: Chest pain; convulsions (seizures); shortness of breath; fast heartbeat; headache; increased blood pressure; fever; swelling of the face, fingers, ankles, feet or lower legs; vision problems; weight gain; influenza-like reaction, with symptoms such as muscle aches, bone pain, chills, shivering, and sweating; diarrhea; muscle weakness (severe); nausea or vomiting; tiredness.

 

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