Darbepoetin Alfa Dosing
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For the treatment of anemia due to chemotherapy, there are two different options for dosing with darbepoetin alfa:
- Once a week dosing -- darbepoetin alfa 2.25 mcg per kg of body weight (about 1 mcg per pound) per week
- Once every three weeks dosing -- darbepoetin alfa 500 mcg once every three weeks.
For treating anemia due to chemotherapy, the injections under the skin (rather than by IV) are recommended. Your healthcare provider will check your progress frequently, using a blood test that measures the amount of hemoglobin in your blood (hemoglobin is a good way to measure anemia) and will adjust your dose in order to gradually increase your hemoglobin up to a level needed to avoid red blood cell transfusion.
Considerations for people taking darbepoetin alfa include the following:
- Darbepoetin alfa comes as an injection that is given under the skin (subcutaneously) or by IV infusion.
- Darbepoetin alfa is usually given once a week, once every two weeks, or once every three weeks, depending on several factors.
- In some situations, you may be able to give yourself darbepoetin alfa injections (under the skin, not by IV) at home. In this situation, your healthcare provider should teach you exactly how to give yourself the injections.
- Never shake darbepoetin alfa, as it is a delicate molecule that could be damaged by shaking.
- You will need regular blood tests while taking darbepoetin alfa to see how well the medicine is working.
- It is very important that your body has enough iron, otherwise darbepoetin alfa cannot work well. Your healthcare provider may recommend iron supplements in some situations.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
- If you are unsure about anything related to darbepoetin alfa or your darbepoetin alfa dosage, talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking the drug without discussing it with your healthcare provider.