Darbepoetin Alfa Dosing
Darbepoetin alfa dosing for the treatment of anemia that is caused by chronic kidney failure is determined by weight -- typically 0.45 mcg per kg of body weight. For the treatment of anemia due to chemotherapy, the recommended starting darbepoetin alfa dose is either 2.25 mcg per kg of body weight once a week or 500 mcg once every three weeks.
The dose of darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp®) that your healthcare provider recommends will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- The cause of your anemia (chemotherapy or kidney failure)
- How you respond to darbepoetin alfa (as measured by blood tests)
- Your weight
- Other medications you may be taking
- Other medical conditions you may have.
As always, do not adjust your darbepoetin alfa dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
The recommended starting darbepoetin alfa dose for treating anemia due to chronic kidney failure is based on weight, 0.45 mcg per kg of body weight (equivalent to about 0.2 mcg per pound) once a week. 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 that is sufficient to reduce the need for red blood cell transfusions.
Your dose should not be increased more frequently than once a month, in order to give the drug a chance to work. If your hemoglobin increases too quickly or too much, your healthcare provider should decrease your dose. In some people, darbepoetin alfa will need to be given just once every two weeks.
Darbepoetin alfa can be given as an injection under the skin (a subcutaneous injection) or by an IV. For people on dialysis, the IV method is usually best.