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Aranesp Prefilled Syringe
Darbepoetin Alfa
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What is Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa)?

Aranesp (Darbepoetin Alfa) is a prescription medication used to treat anemia, a condition where the body has fewer red blood cells (RBCs) than normal.

It is used to help reduce the need for blood transfusions in people with anemia caused by chronic kidney disease or chemotherapy that will last at least two months.

It comes in single-dose vials and prefilled syringes, with common side effects including shortness of breath, cough, low blood pressure during dialysis, abdominal pain, and swelling in the arms or legs.

How Does Aranesp Work?

Aranesp mimics a natural protein called erythropoietin, which stimulates the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells (RBCs). In people with anemia, erythropoietin levels are often low, leading to fewer RBCs.

By acting like erythropoietin, it boosts RBC production, improving the blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity and reducing the need for RBC transfusions.

This is especially helpful for those with anemia due to chronic kidney disease or chemotherapy.

Dosage Information and Usage

Aranesp is used to treat anemia, particularly in people with chronic kidney disease or those undergoing chemotherapy.

Before starting treatment, it’s important to check the patient’s iron levels and overall health to ensure they can respond well to the medication.

Dosage Forms and Strengths of Aranesp

  • Single-dose vials:
  • 25 mcg
  • 40 mcg
  • 60 mcg
  • 100 mcg
  • 200 mcg
  • Single-dose prefilled syringes:
  • 10 mcg/0.4 mL
  • 25 mcg/0.42 mL
  • 40 mcg/0.4 mL
  • 60 mcg/0.3 mL
  • 100 mcg/0.5 mL
  • 150 mcg/0.3 mL
  • 200 mcg/0.4 mL
  • 300 mcg/0.6 mL
  • 500 mcg/1 mL

Administration of Aranesp

Before starting, check the patient’s iron levels and correct any deficiencies. This drug is administered via injection, either under the skin or into a vein.

The dosage and frequency depend on the patient’s condition and response to treatment. Hemoglobin levels should be monitored regularly, initially weekly and then monthly once stable.

Adjust dosages based on hemoglobin response, using the lowest effective dose to minimize the need for RBC transfusions.

Patients or caregivers administering injections at home should be properly trained to ensure they understand the correct technique and dosage instructions.

Storage Information

Store Aranesp in its original carton to protect from light. Keep it in a refrigerator at a temperature of 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Do not freeze it, and do not use it if it has been frozen. Never shake Aranesp.

After using a vial or prefilled syringe, throw it away. Do not reuse it, even if there’s some medicine left. Always keep medication out of the reach of children.

Side Effects

While Aranesp is effective in treating anemia, it can also cause side effects. Understanding these side effects can help you manage them effectively and seek timely medical advice if needed.

Side effects can range from common and mild to rare but serious conditions. Always refer to your healthcare provider for personalized information and advice.

Common Side Effects

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Low blood pressure during dialysis
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling in the arms or legs (edema)

Serious but Rare Side Effects

  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Antibodies to Aranesp, leading to severe anemia
  • Serious allergic reactions (rash, shortness of breath, swelling)
  • Severe skin reactions (itching, blisters, peeling skin)

Warnings and Precautions

Before starting treatment, it’s crucial to be aware of several important warnings and precautions.

These considerations help ensure the safe and effective use of the medication while minimizing potential risks.

Boxed Warnings

Aranesp comes with serious warnings called “Boxed Warnings.” Using Aranesp can increase the risk of death, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and the growth or return of tumors, especially in patients with chronic kidney disease or cancer.

To stay safe, use the smallest dose necessary to reduce the need for blood transfusions.

For people with cancer, it should only be used if anemia is caused by chemotherapy, and it should be stopped when chemotherapy ends. Always talk to your doctor about these risks before starting Aranesp.

General Precautions for Aranesp Medication

When taking Aranesp, it’s important to follow these general precautions to ensure safety and efficacy:

  • Blood Pressure Monitoring: Aranesp can cause an increase in blood pressure. It is crucial to frequently check and control your blood pressure, especially if you have chronic kidney disease (CKD).
  • Seizure Risk: Aranesp may heighten the risk of seizures, particularly during the initial months of treatment. Be vigilant for warning signs like unusual sensations or changes in alertness and report them to your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Hemoglobin Response: If you don’t see an improvement in your hemoglobin levels, identify any underlying issues such as iron deficiency or infection. Continuing to use Aranesp without addressing these can lead to inadequate treatment.
  • Pure Red Cell Aplasia (PRCA): This rare condition involves a significant drop in red blood cells. If severe anemia or a very low count of immature red blood cells (reticulocytes) is observed, Aranesp should be stopped and specific antibodies should be tested for.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience severe allergic reactions, such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling. If any of these occur, discontinue Aranesp immediately and seek medical attention.
  • Skin Reactions: In rare cases, serious skin conditions like Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) can develop, indicated by blistering or peeling skin. If these symptoms appear, stop using Aranesp and consult a healthcare provider.
  • Dialysis Adjustments: Patients on dialysis may need changes in their dialysis routine and potentially higher doses of blood thinners to prevent clotting while on Aranesp.

Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and instructions.

Overdosage of Aranesp

Taking too much can cause your hemoglobin levels to go too high. If this happens, your doctor might stop or lower your dose of Aranesp or suggest a blood donation to bring your levels back to normal.

High doses can also cause dangerously high blood pressure. If you suspect an overdose, contact your healthcare provider immediately for guidance and appropriate actions.

Price & Discounts

For those dealing with the high costs of prescription medications like Aranesp, finding a more affordable option is crucial. At Pharma Giant, we offer a cost-effective solution by providing access to medications through a trusted Canadian pharmacy.

By obtaining a prescription from a doctor, U.S. patients can order aranesp online securely and conveniently through Pharma Giant. This offers significant savings, making essential treatments more accessible.

Pharma Giant partners with licensed Canadian pharmacies to ensure prescriptions are fulfilled promptly and with the highest standards of quality and safety. The process is efficient, and medications are express shipped to the United States within 3-5 business days, ensuring minimal disruption to your treatment plan.

To further reduce costs, we offer a special discount for first-time customers. By using the coupon code FIRST10, new customers can save an additional 10% on their first order.

Aranesp Pricing Table

StrengthQuantityPG Price
40mcg4 pre-filled syringes$769.00
8 pre-filled syringes$1520.00
12 pre-filled syringes$2250.00
60mcg4 pre-filled syringes$1159.00
8 pre-filled syringes$2280.00
12 pre-filled syringes$3360.00
100mcg4 pre-filled syringes$1899.00
8 pre-filled syringes$3760.00
12 pre-filled syringes$5580.00
150mcg4 pre-filled syringes$2879.00
8 pre-filled syringes$5720.00
12 pre-filled syringes$8520.00
300mcg1 pre-filled syringe$1669.00
2 pre-filled syringes$3318.00
3 pre-filled syringes$4890.00
500mcg1 pre-filled syringe$2799.00
2 pre-filled syringes$5560.00
3 pre-filled syringes$8280.00

Ordering Aranesp through Pharma Giant allows U.S. patients to save significantly on their medication costs while benefiting from the reliable service of a trusted Canadian pharmacy.

Drug Abuse and Dependence

Abusing Aranesp means using it in ways that should not be used, usually to get certain effects. For example, some athletes might misuse it to increase their red blood cells, hoping to improve their performance.

This type of misuse can be dangerous and can lead to serious health problems like heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots.

It’s important to use Aranesp only as prescribed by your doctor and not for any other purposes. Darbepoetin alfa, the active ingredient in Aranesp, does not affect the brain’s behavior.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Aranesp is given as an injection under the skin. It can be done once a week or once every three weeks, depending on what your doctor decides.

Aranesp is a treatment that can be tailored to a patient’s specific needs. It is the only long-acting erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) approved for different dosing schedules, allowing for either once weekly (QW) or once every three weeks (Q3W) administration. Your healthcare provider will decide the best dosing frequency based on your medical condition and treatment response.

You should stop using Aranesp if, after 8 weeks of treatment, your hemoglobin (Hb) level does not improve or if you still need red blood cell (RBC) transfusions.

Also, stop using Aranesp right away if you experience a severe skin reaction, like Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). Always follow your doctor’s guidance and report any unusual symptoms immediately.

If Aranesp doesn’t work for you or stops working, your doctor will look into why it’s not helping. One common reason is low iron levels, so you may need to take iron supplements as instructed. There could also be other health issues affecting your response to the medication. Your doctor will check for these and adjust your treatment as needed.

The maximum dose of Aranesp varies based on individual patient needs and the specific medical condition being treated. Generally, Aranesp is available in a range of dosages, from as low as 10 mcg to as high as 500 mcg.

The highest single-dose prefilled syringe available is 500 mcg/1 mL. Never exceed the advised dosage without consulting your healthcare provider.

Aranesp is not a chemotherapy drug. Instead, it is used to treat anemia, which is when you have too few red blood cells. Aranesp helps your body make more red blood cells. It is often used for people with long-term kidney disease or those receiving chemotherapy for certain types of cancer to help increase their red blood cell count.

You should avoid using Aranesp if you are allergic to darbepoetin alfa or any of its ingredients. Additionally, it is not suitable for individuals with untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure.

If you have previously experienced pure red cell aplasia (PRCA)—a type of severe anemia—after receiving treatment with Aranesp or epoetin alfa, you should not use Aranesp.

Yes, Aranesp is effective. In a study, most patients (93% of 129 people) using Aranesp had an increase in their red blood cell levels. Another group using a similar drug, Epoetin alfa, showed a 92% success rate. This means that Aranesp works well for most people in increasing their hemoglobin levels.

Your doctor will do blood tests to check how many red blood cells your body is making. These tests will show if Aranesp is helping and if your hemoglobin level is getting too high. Your doctor will explain the results and make sure the treatment is working as it should.

Yes, Aranesp can be given at home if you or your caregiver have been properly trained by a healthcare provider. Do not try to inject Aranesp on your own unless you have received this training. If you are unsure about how to give the injection or have any questions, ask your doctor or nurse for help. They can give you clear instructions and support to ensure you are administering the medication safely.