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erythropoiesis-stimulating agentAbbreviation: ESA.
Any drug that binds to cellular receptors for erythropoietin and encourages red blood cell production by the bone marrow. Members of this class of drugs, which include epoietin and darbopoietin, are used to treat anemia, e.g., in patients with chronic kidney disease, cancer, or aplastic anemia. ESAs are used as an alternative to red blood cell transfusions. Potential side effects of treatment include high blood pressure and an increased risk of blood clots.
See also: agent