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(de-fer-ip-rone) ,


(trade name)


Therapeutic: antidotes
Pharmacologic: chelating agents
Pregnancy Category: D


Treatment of transfusional iron overload due to thalassemia when other chelation regimens are inadequate.


Bonds with ferric ions to form neutral complexes which are then eliminated.

Therapeutic effects

Decrease in iron overload as reflected in decreased ferritin levels.


Absorption: Well absorbed following oral administration.
Distribution: Unk.
Metabolism and Excretion: Mostly metabolized (by UGT 1A6 enzyme system), 75–90% excreted in urine as metabolites.
Half-life: 1.9 hr.

Time/action profile (blood levels)

POwithin 5–10 min1–2 hr8–12 hr


Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity; Obstetric: Pregnancy should be avoided; Lactation: Breast feeding not recommended.
Use Cautiously in: Renal/hepatic impairment (safety and effectiveness not established); Any risk/history of QT prolongation including HF, bradycardia, diuretic use, cardiac hypertrophy, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia; Pediatric: Safe and effective use in children has not been established.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Central nervous system

  • headache


  • Torsades de Pointes (life-threatening)


  • abdominal pain (most frequent)
  • nausea (most frequent)
  • change in appetite
  • vomiting
  • ↑ liver enzymes


  • chromaturia (most frequent)


  • agranulocytosis (life-threatening)
  • neutropenia


  • arthralgia
  • arthropathy
  • back pain
  • extremity pain


  • ↓ zinc levels


Drug-Drug interaction

Concurrent use of other drugs that cause neutropenia/agranulocytosis may ↑ risk of neutropenia/agranulocytosis. May also chelate other concurrently administered polyvalent cations in mineral supplements and antacids, including iron, aluminum and zinc ; wait 4 hr between administration.


Oral (Adults) 25 mg/kg three times daily, may be adjusted up to 33 mg/kg three times daily (range 75–99 mg/kg/day in divided doses). Dose should be rounded to the nearest 250 mg (1/2 tablet).


Tablets: 500 mg

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • .
  • Lab Test Considerations: Monitor serum ferritin every 2–3 mo to assess efficacy. If serum ferritin falls consistently below 500 mcg/L, consider temporarily interripting deferiprone therapy.
    • Measure ANC before starting and weekly during therapy. Interrupt deferiprone if neutropenia (ANC <1.5 X 109/L) or if infection develops. If ANC <1.5 X 109/L and >0.5 X 109/L, obtain CBC with WBC corrected for presence of nucleated red blood cells, ANC, and platelet count daily until recovery (ANC ≥1.5 X 109/L. For agranulocytosis (ANC <0.5 X 109/L), Consider hospitalization and manage as clinically appropriate. Do not resume deferiprone in patients who develop agranulocytosis or rechallenge patients who develop neutropenia, unless benefits outweigh risks.
    • Monitor serum AST and ALT monthly during therapy. Interrupt therapy if persistent ↑ in serum transaminases occurs.
    • Monitor plasma zinc levels. ↓ may occur and may require supplementation.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Risk for infection (Adverse Reactions)


  • Oral: Administer first dose in the morning, second dose midday, and third dose in the evening. May be taken with meals to decrease nausea.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take deferiprone 3 times/day. Take missed doses as soon as remembered, but not just before next dose. Do not double doses.
  • Advise patient to stop therapy and notify health care professional immediately if signs and symptoms of infection (fever, sore throat) or if palpitations, dizziness, syncope, or seizures occur.
  • Inform patient that reddish/brown urine may occur; common and not harmful.
  • Advise female patients to use contraception and avoid breastfeeding during therapy. If pregnancy is planned or suspected, notify health care professional promptly.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Decrease in serum ferritin levels.
References in periodicals archive ?
After seven years of rallying, Ferriprox was finally approved in 2011.
Ferriprox is the only oral formulation in the class of iron chelator in China, and has proven to be very effective in reducing chronic iron overload, especially in the heart.
For more information on Ferriprox, please visit:http://www.
Data, published online in the journal Blood and presented this week at the annual meeting of the Thalassemia International Federation (TIF) in Dubai, show Ferriprox provides significantly better cardio-protection compared to deferoxamine (DFO), the current standard of care.
Food and Drug Administration today approved Ferriprox (deferiprone) to treat patients with iron overload due to blood transfusions in patients with thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder that causes anemia, who had an inadequate response to prior chelation therapy.
Already approved in more than 60 countries worldwide, Ferriprox could become a critical new treatment option for U.
Wednesday, 9/14 - The Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee discusses Ferriprox a treatment for patients with transfusional iron overload when chelation therapy is inadequate.
In addition, the Company's thalassemia medication, Ferriprox, has been preliminarily added to Guangdong Province's Medical Insurance Catalog.
4 million in the prior year period, reflecting sales and marketing efforts of Anpo, Propess and Ferriprox compared to the prior year.
2 million in the prior year period, reflecting sales and marketing efforts of Anpo, Propess, Ferriprox and Galake compared to the prior year.
Propess, Anpo, Ferriprox and Galake compared to the prior year.
In our products businesses, Ferriprox has gained significant traction in sales since its launch on June 28, 2008.