It is very important that your doctor check the blood of you or your child on a regular basis while you are using this medicine. You may also need to monitor your blood pressure at home. If you notice any changes to your recommended blood pressure, call your doctor right away. .
Do not use this medicine if you or your child have had an allergic reaction to albumin or products derived from human or animal cells.
This medicine contains benzyl alcohol which may cause serious reactions to newborn or premature infants. Discuss this with your doctor if you are concerned.
Epoetin sometimes causes convulsions (seizures), especially during the first 90 days of treatment. During this time, it is best to avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, or other activities that could cause serious injury if a seizure occurs while you are performing them.
People with severe anemia usually feel very tired and sick. When epoetin begins to work, usually in about 6 weeks, most people start to feel better. Some people are able to be more active. However, epoetin only corrects anemia. It has no effect on kidney disease or any other medical problem that needs regular medical attention. Therefore, even if you or your child are feeling much better, it is very important that you do not miss any appointments with your doctor or any dialysis treatments. .
This medicine may increase your risk of having serious heart and blood vessel problems, such as congestive heart failure, heart attacks, or stroke. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child start having chest pain, trouble with breathing, sudden or severe headache, or problems with vision, speech, or walking. .
This medicine may increase your risk of having blood clots, especially in patients who use epoetin alfa before a major surgery. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have chest pain; trouble with breathing; a sudden problem with vision; or pain, redness, or swelling in your arms or legs while using this medicine.
This medicine may cause blood clots to form in the access port (A-V shunt) for patients with chronic kidney disease who receive dialysis treatments. This would cause the access port to stop working. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child see blood clots forming in the access port.
When used in patients with certain types of cancer (e.g., breast, cervix, lymphoid, lung, head, or neck cancer), this medicine has shortened survival time and worsened the cancer for some patients. If you or your child are concerned about this, talk with your doctor.
Epoetin is made from donated human blood. Some human blood products have transmitted certain viruses to people who have received them. The risk of getting a virus from medicines made from human blood has been greatly reduced in recent years. This is the result of required testing of human donors for certain viruses, and testing during the making of these medicines. Although the risk is low, talk with your doctor if you have concerns.
Many people with kidney problems need to be on a special diet. Also, people with high blood pressure (which may be caused by kidney disease or by epoetin treatment) may need to be on a special diet and/or to take medicine to keep their blood pressure under control. After their anemia has been corrected, some people feel so much better that they want to eat more than before. To keep your kidney disease or your high blood pressure from getting worse, it is very important that you or your child follow your special diet and take your medicines regularly, even if you are feeling better.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash; itching; dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; shortness of breath; trouble breathing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you receive the medicine.
In addition to epoetin, your body needs iron to make red blood cells. Your doctor may direct you or your child to take iron supplements and vitamins (e.g., folic acid or vitamin B12) that help the iron work better. You may need to eat more foods that contain iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12, such as eggs, certain cereals, meats, and vegetables. Do not change your diet or take extra supplements before talking to your doctor. Be sure to follow your doctor's orders carefully, because epoetin will not work properly if there is not enough iron in your body.