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Darbepoetin Alfa

Important Information for Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking darbepoetin alfa if you have:
 

 

    • Sickle cell anemia
    • Hemolytic anemia
    • Thalassemia
    • Porphyria

 

Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Darbepoetin Alfa to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
 

How Does It Work?

It belongs to a group of medications known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). Darbepoetin alfa is a manufactured version of erythropoietin, a human protein that is produced in the kidneys. It works by stimulating the production of red blood cells by the bone marrow.
 
It is very similar to epoetin alfa (Epogen®, Procrit®), with a few minor changes to the molecule. These changes make darbepoetin alfa long-acting. Darbepoetin alfa is taken once weekly (or every two or three weeks), while epoetin alfa must be taken more frequently (usually three times a week).
 
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Drug Information -- Darbepoetin Alfa

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