Epoetin is a type of erythropoietin stimulator. These
medicines can be given two ways. They may be injected into a vein with an
intravenous (IV) needle or injected under the skin (subcutaneous). Talk to your
doctor about which way is best for you.
How It Works
Epoetin is the man-made form of something
that is produced naturally by your body, erythropoietin. The drug helps
red blood cells to grow. It is used to prevent or
Why It Is Used
Cancer and treatment for cancer can
cause your blood cell counts to drop very low. Epoetin is used to bring your
blood cell count up as soon as possible. It is also used to prevent and treat
some types of anemia, such as those caused by
How Well It Works
Epoetin helps your body make new red
blood cells, which means you may not need as many blood transfusions. Sometimes
your doctor may give you iron at the same time as epoetin to help treat
Epoetin can cause
high blood pressure. Drugs are available to treat high
It may be dangerous to use erythropoietin
stimulators to increase your red blood cell (hemoglobin) levels above 12 g/dL.
Hemoglobin levels that are too high may increase your risk for death, heart
failure, heart attack, and stroke. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medicine. Tell him or her about the concerns you may have,
and keep all your appointments for blood tests.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side
effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Epoetin is an
erythropoietin. Darbepoetin is another type of erythropoietin that may be given
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.