Ferriprox is an iron-chelating agent. It contains deferiprone as its main active ingredient. This drug binds to iron and removes it from the blood stream. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Ferriprox (deferiprone) for treatment of excess of iron in the blood due to blood transfusions in patients with thalassemia. Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder and it causes anemia. Ferriprox is used in patients of iron overload, who had not responded well to other chelating therapy.

Thalassemic patients get excess of iron in their body, as they need frequent blood transfusion. This iron overload could be fatal for some patients. Excess of iron could increase risk of developing liver disease, diabetes , arthritis, heart failure or an abnormal heart rhythm. Patients allergic to deferiprone should not use Ferriprox. Patients with history of episodes of neutropenia or low white blood cell count or agranulocytosis should not use this medicine.

Patients should consult their doctor about their medical history especially kidney or liver disease, cancer especially including blood cell cancer such as leukemia or a weak immune system, before using this medicine as it could worsen these medical conditions. Patients should tell the doctor about any medication being used especially antacids that contain aluminum or supplements that contain iron or zinc, prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Patients should not use any other medicine while using Ferriprox, without consulting the doctor.

Ferriprox is an FDA approved pregnancy category D medicine and could harm an unborn baby. Patients should not use this drug, while being pregnant, suspecting pregnancy or planning to be pregnant as it could lead to fatal results. An effective method of birth control should be used while using this drug. It could easily pass into breast milk and harm the feeding infant, thus nursing mothers should avoid his medicine.

Use of Ferriprox could cause symptoms of infection such as fever, sore throat or flu-like symptoms. Other such symptoms include palpitations, dizziness, lightheadedness, syncope or seizures. In such conditions, patients should immediately call the doctor. Patients must have blood tests regularly, to check that the patients are not suffering from any harmful effect of this drug.

It could produce allergic reactions such as hives, breathing problem, swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Its use could result into severe diseases such as neutropenia or agranulocytosis (low white blood cell count). It increases the risk of infections. Its use could also cause elevated liver enzymes, mild nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, changes in appetite or headache.

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