This medication is used along with other treatments (such as causing vomiting with syrup of ipecac, stomach pumping) to treat sudden iron poisoning. It is most effective when given as soon as possible after the iron was eaten. This medication can also be used to help get rid of iron in patients with high iron levels due to many blood transfusions. Deferoxamine is an iron-binding agent that belongs to a class of drugs known as heavy metal antagonists. It works by helping the kidneys and gallbladder get rid of the extra iron.
This medication is not recommended for use in children less than 3 years old (see also Precautions section).
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to treat high levels of aluminum in dialysis patients and people with aluminum poisoning.
Depending upon your medical condition, this medication is injected directly into a muscle, under the skin, or into a vein as directed by your doctor.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
If you are using this medication to treat high iron levels, your doctor may direct you to take vitamin C (ascorbic acid) after you have been using this medication for at least 1 month. Taking vitamin C will help replace the loss of vitamin C due to high iron levels and help the medication work to get rid of the iron. If you have heart disease (such as heart failure), tell your doctor before taking vitamin C while using this medication (see also Drug Interactions). The manufacturer recommends that adults using this drug take no more than 200 milligrams of vitamin C a day.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Pain and swelling at the injection site or blurred vision may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
This medicine may cause your urine to turn reddish. This effect is harmless.
When this medication is given into a vein, flushing, severe itching, severe dizziness, fast heartbeat, and fainting can occur. Therefore the manufacturer recommends that, when possible, this medication be given either in the muscle or under the skin.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: other vision changes (such as vision loss, loss of color vision, cataracts), eye pain, hearing changes (such as ringing ears, decreased hearing/loss).
This drug may infrequently cause a serious (rarely fatal) lung condition (acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS). Get medical help right away if you notice any of the following: sudden/severe shortness of breath, labored or rapid breathing, severe dizziness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before using deferoxamine, 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. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This drug may make you dizzy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Children (especially those younger than 3 years of age) may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially the effects on bone growth.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially vision/hearing problems.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some of the products that may interact with this drug include: prochlorperazine.
If you have a certain heart problem (heart failure), this drug should not be used with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) because very serious interactions may occur. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details before starting deferoxamine.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including gallium scintigraphy), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness, fainting, fast heartbeat, loss of vision, sudden paleness in face/lips/palms of hands, coma.
Do not share this medication with others.
In patients receiving this medication long-term, laboratory and/or medical tests (such as eye exams, hearing tests, growth and body weight in children, kidney function tests, cardiac function tests in patients using deferoxamine and vitamin C) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store unmixed vials at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. After mixing, use within time period indicated in product instructions. Discard unused portion. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet