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Iron Chelation Therapy Options for Iron Overload

Insights From:Thomas D. Coates, MD
Published: Monday, Oct 05, 2015

 
Several options exist for the treatment of iron overload, including erythrocytapheresis, which is a procedure that replaces the red blood cells from a patient with sickle cell anemia with normal blood. In many instances, erythrocytapheresis can be done in an outpatient basis, explains Thomas D. Coates, MD.

In addition to this approach, iron chelating agents are available that bind to the toxic form of iron, decreasing its toxicity, explains Coates. Excess iron is then excreted through the urine or stool. Three agents are available in the United States. Deferoxamine (Desferal) is usually infused overnight over a 10-hour period, says Coates. Another options, deferasirox (Exjade), is an oral agent taken once daily. Additioanlly, Coates adds, the best option for improving cardiac function is deferiprone (Ferriprox), which is administered orally three times daily.
 
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Several options exist for the treatment of iron overload, including erythrocytapheresis, which is a procedure that replaces the red blood cells from a patient with sickle cell anemia with normal blood. In many instances, erythrocytapheresis can be done in an outpatient basis, explains Thomas D. Coates, MD.

In addition to this approach, iron chelating agents are available that bind to the toxic form of iron, decreasing its toxicity, explains Coates. Excess iron is then excreted through the urine or stool. Three agents are available in the United States. Deferoxamine (Desferal) is usually infused overnight over a 10-hour period, says Coates. Another options, deferasirox (Exjade), is an oral agent taken once daily. Additioanlly, Coates adds, the best option for improving cardiac function is deferiprone (Ferriprox), which is administered orally three times daily.
 
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