Retacrit Epoetin Alfa-epbx 2000 unit/ml, 30ml Solution
This medication is used to treat anemia (low red blood cell count) in people with long-term serious kidney disease (chronic kidney failure), people receiving zidovudine to treat HIV, and people receiving chemotherapy for some types of cancer (cancer that does not involve the bone marrow or blood cells). It may also be used in anemic patients to reduce the need for blood transfusions before certain planned surgeries that have a high risk of blood loss (usually given with an anticoagulant/”blood thinner” medication such as warfarin to lower the risk of serious blood clots). Epoetin alfa-epbx works by signaling the bone marrow to make more red blood cells. This medication is very similar to the natural substance in your body (erythropoietin) that prevents anemia.
How to use:
Read the Medication Guide and Instructions for Use provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. This medication is given as an injection under the skin or into a vein as directed by your doctor, usually 1 to 3 times a week. Patients getting this medication before surgery may have a special dosing schedule. Hemodialysis patients should receive this medication by injection into a vein. If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Do not shake this medication. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. If you are injecting this medication under the skin, before each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Do not inject into an area of skin that is tender, red, bruised, hard, or has scars or stretch marks. Recommended injection sites include the upper arms, abdomen, front of the middle thighs, or upper outer area of the buttocks. Change the injection site each time to lessen injury under the skin. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment. Blood tests should be done often to check how well this medication is working and to decide the correct dose for you. Consult your doctor for more details. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it on the same day(s) of the week as directed. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. It may take 2 to 6 weeks before your red blood cell count increases. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse.
Headache, body aches, cough, or injection site irritation/pain may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. 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. Epoetin alfa-epbx may sometimes cause or worsen high blood pressure, especially in patients with long-term kidney failure. This effect may be caused by the number of red blood cells increasing too quickly, usually within the first 3 months of starting treatment. If you have high blood pressure, it should be well controlled before beginning treatment with this medication. Your blood pressure should be checked often. Ask your doctor if you should learn how to check your own blood pressure. If high blood pressure develops or worsens, follow your doctor’s instructions about diet changes and starting or adjusting your high blood pressure medication. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and further kidney problems. Keep all lab appointments to have your red blood cell count/hemoglobin level tested regularly to reduce the chance of this side effect. Rarely, this medication may suddenly stop working well after a period of time because your body may make antibodies to it. A very serious anemia can result. Tell your doctor right away if symptoms of anemia return (such as increased tiredness, low energy, pale skin color, shortness of breath). Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain). Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizures. This medication may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) problems from blood clots (such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots in the legs or lungs). You may be at increased risk for blood clots if you are severely dehydrated, or have a history of blood clots, heart/blood vessel disease, heart failure, stroke, pregnant, or if you are immobile (such as on very long plane flights or being bedridden). If you use estrogen-containing products, these may also increase your risk. Before using this medication, if you have any of these conditions report them to your doctor or pharmacist. Get medical help right away if any of these side effects occur: shortness of breath/rapid breathing, chest/jaw/left arm pain, unusual sweating, confusion, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, sudden/severe headaches, trouble speaking, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes, blood clots in your hemodialysis vascular access site. 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.