Anagrelide, also known by the brand name Agrylin, is used to treat patients with thrombocytosis, a condition in which patients have too many platelet cells in their blood. Platelets are a cell type formed in the bone marrow that are involved in the blood clotting process.
Purpose and Description
Adult patients taking anagrelide should receive 0.5 mg of the drug four times daily or one mg twice daily. Based on the response to therapy, the dose of anagrelide can be increased by 0.5 mg per day every seven to 14 days if necessary. The goal is to maintain platelets at a count of less than 600, 000 at the lowest dose of the drug possible to keep side effects at a minimum.
Patients with heart disease should be given anagrelide with caution. Anagrelide should be given with caution, if at all, in patients taking drugs that affect platelet aggregations such as aspirin, clopidrogel, ticlopodine, or non-steroidal agents.
Pregnant mothers should be warned that anagrelide administration may cause fetal abnormalities. Pregnant patients should consult their physician about the current state of knowledge regarding risks and alternatives before beginning administration of anagrelide. Female patients of childbearing age should attempt to avoid pregnancy while taking this drug. Mothers who are nursing should discontinue nursing while taking this drug.
The most common side effects of anagrelide are palpitations, fluid gain resulting in swelling, headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, mild to moderate nausea, passing gas, weakness, shortness of breath, and decreased platelets. Less common side effects of anagrelide include increased heart rate and chest pain, malaise, rash, vomiting, and decreased appetite. As with all medications, patients should contact their physician or nurse if any of these side effects occur.
There are no proven interactions between anagrelide and other drugs. The drug sucralfate may interfere with the absorption of anagrelide. Prior to starting any over-the-counter medications, herbal medications, or new medications, patients should consult their physician, nurse, or pharmacist to prevent drug interactions.
Michael Zuck, Ph.D.
—A cell type found in the blood important for blood clotting.
—The condition of having too many platelet cells in the blood.