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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.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
"I'm currently taking Ferriprox to remove the iron from my brain and central nervous system and my blood results has shown that my Ferritin levels -- a protein in the blood which binds to iron used to measure the amount of iron in the blood -- are significantly lower, this shows that the drug is chelating the iron in my system.
Rhys is taking Ferriprox to remove the iron from his brain
He is trialling the drug Deferiprone (Ferriprox) in an attempt to remove the iron deposits from the surface of the brain.
"I'm currently taking Ferriprox to remove the iron from my brain and central nervous system and my blood results has shown that my Ferritin levels - a protein in the blood which binds to iron and is used to measure the amount of iron in the blood - are significantly lower.
Cells were then washed twice and treated with deferiprone or deferoxamine (Ferriprox; Cat No.
Efficacy and Safety of Deferipron (Ferriprox), an Oral Ironchelating Agent, in Pediatric Patients.
As an adult, an important milestone in her fight against thalassaemia was in getting the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve Ferriprox, an iron chelator -- the only drug available that can remove iron from the heart.
M2 PHARMA-October 17, 2011-FDA greenlights ApoPharma's Ferriprox to treat iron overload(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS
17 October 2011 - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Friday it had approved Canadian ApoPharma's 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.
Apotex' first innovative drug, Ferriprox, has been approved in Europe for use in the treatment of thalassemia patients.
M2 PHARMA-September 15, 2011-FDA Advisory Committee backs ApoPharma's Ferriprox approval(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS