Deferasirox is indicated for the treatment of excessive iron levels in both adult and pediatric patients aged 2 years and older, who have undergone multiple blood transfusions. It is also prescribed for adult and pediatric patients aged 10 years and older diagnosed with non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia (NTDT), a hereditary blood disorder characterized by excessive iron accumulation. Deferasirox belongs to a class of pharmaceuticals known as iron chelators, which function by binding to iron within the body, facilitating its elimination through fecal excretion.
Uses and Dosage
Deferasirox is available in multiple formulations, including tablets, granules, and suspension tablets designed to dissolve in liquid for oral administration. It is recommended to take deferasirox once daily on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before consuming food. Take deferasirox at approximately the same time every day. Adhere strictly to the prescribed dosage regimen, avoiding deviations in both quantity and frequency as instructed by your doctor.
Different deferasirox products are absorbed by the body in distinct manners and cannot be used interchangeably. If a switch from one deferasirox product to another is necessary, your doctor may need to adjust the dosage accordingly. Every time you receive your medication, verify that you have been given the specific deferasirox product prescribed for you. If any doubts arise, consult your pharmacist to confirm the accuracy of the medication received.
Swallow deferasirox tablets with water or any other appropriate liquid. In cases of difficulty swallowing the tablet, it may be crushed and mixed with a soft food like yogurt or applesauce immediately before ingestion. The 90 mg tablet should not be crushed using a crushing device with jagged edges.
Deferasirox gradually eliminates excess iron from the body over time. Continue taking deferasirox even if you feel well. Discontinuing deferasirox should only be done after consulting with your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- stomach pain
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- hearing loss
- vision problems
- peeling or blistering skin
- swollen lymph nodes
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
- unusual bruising or bleeding
Before taking deferasirox, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, low platelet counts, advanced cancer, certain bone marrow disorders involving damaged blood-forming cells.
This drug may make you dizzy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely.
Tell the doctor right away if you develop any illness that may cause dehydration or if you are unable to drink fluids. The doctor may need to stop or adjust deferasirox treatment, especially in children.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially kidney problems and hearing loss.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially liver problems, stomach/intestinal bleeding, and ulcers.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using deferasirox. Deferasirox may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended.
Form and Strength
Exjade is available in the following forms and strengths:
Exjade dispersible tablet:
deferasirox dispersible tablet:
Should Exjade be taken before or after food?
Take Exjade on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before eating any food.
Can I take Exjade with heartburn medications?
It’s best to avoid taking aluminum-containing antacids while taking Exjade. Based on how it works, there’s a chance that Exjade will attach to the aluminum in the heartburn medication.