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Deferasirox Oral suspension

It helps to prevent and treat too much iron in the blood caused by blood transfusions

Generic Name: deferasirox

Brand Names: Exjade

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

  • Renal or hepatic impairment (including failure) and GI hemorrhage reported. Some cases were fatal.
  • Such adverse reactions more frequently observed in patients with advanced age, high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), underlying renal or hepatic impairment, or low platelet counts (<50,000/mm³). (See Renal Effects, Hepatic Effects, and also GI Effects under Cautions.)
  • Close patient monitoring, including laboratory testing of renal and hepatic function, required. Measure Scr and/or Clcr prior to initiation of therapy and monthly thereafter. In patients with underlying renal impairment or risk factors for renal impairment, monitor Scr and/or Clcr weekly for the first month, then monthly thereafter.
  • Measure serum transaminase and bilirubin concentrations prior to initiation of therapy, every 2 weeks during the first month, and monthly thereafter.

What is this medicine?

DEFERASIROX (de FER a sir ox) binds to iron in the blood. It helps to prevent and treat too much iron in the blood caused by blood transfusions.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • a blood disorder
  • cancer
  • hearing problems
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
  • vision problems
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to deferasirox, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Do not chew or take tablets whole. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before food. Do not take with food. Before taking, mix the dose in water, orange juice, or apple juice as directed. If your dose is less than 1 gram, use 3.5 ounces or about 1/2 glass of liquid. If your dose is 1 gram or more, use 7 ounces or about 1 full glass of liquid. Stir the medicine into the liquid until the tablets dissolve. Drink your dose right away after mixing. If there is any medicine left in the glass after you drink the mixture, add a little bit more liquid, swirl it around, and drink. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • antacids that have aluminum
  • cholestyramine
  • iron supplements or vitamins that have iron
  • other iron binders like deferoxamine
  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin
  • rifampin
  • ritonavir
  • vitamin C

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor for regular check ups. You will need important blood work, vision tests, and hearing tests done while you are taking this medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.

Avoid taking antacids containing aluminum at the same time as this medicine.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • black or bloody stools or blood in vomit
  • changes in hearing
  • changes in vision
  • dark urine
  • fever or chills, sore throat
  • general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms
  • loss of appetite, nausea
  • right upper belly pain
  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • trouble sleeping


Last Updated: February 12, 2010
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