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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Exjade

Generic Name: deferasirox (Pronunciation: de FER a sir ox)

What is deferasirox (Exjade)?

Deferasirox binds to iron and removes it from the blood stream.

Deferasirox is used to treat iron overload caused by blood transfusions in adults and children at least 2 years old.

Deferasirox may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of deferasirox (Exjade)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using deferasirox and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • kidney problems - drowsiness, confusion, mood changes, swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath, urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • stomach bleeding - bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • increased thirst and urination, loss of appetite, weakness, constipation;
  • problems with vision or hearing;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin; or
  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

Less serious side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about deferasirox (Exjade)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it, or if you have severe kidney disease, advanced cancer, a blood cell disorder, or if you are also using theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, Theochron, Uniphyl).

Before taking deferasirox, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, cancer (especially blood cell cancer such as leukemia), a history of stomach or intestinal bleeding, vision or hearing problems, or a weak immune system.

Take deferasirox on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before you eat.

Do not chew, crush, or swallow the tablet whole. Place the tablet into a glass of apple juice, orange juice, or water and allow the tablet to disperse in the liquid. Drink this mixture right away.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath, urinating less than usual or not at all, upper stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood, increased thirst and urination, problems with vision or hearing, fever, chills, flu symptoms, mouth sores, easy bruising or bleeding, or a severe blistering skin rash.

While you are taking deferasirox, do not take antacids that contain aluminum, such as Amphojel, Gaviscon, Maalox, Mi-Acid, Mylanta, Rulox, and others.

There are many other medicines that can interact with deferasirox. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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