Blood Home > Ferriprox Uses

Ferriprox is prescribed to lower iron levels in adults who must undergo frequent blood transfusions due to a blood disease called thalassemia. Taking this medicine to lower iron levels due to any other cause would be considered an "off-label" use of Ferriprox. This drug works by binding to the iron in the blood and allowing it to be removed from the body through the urine.

What Is Ferriprox Used For?

Ferriprox® (deferiprone) is a prescription medication known as an iron chelator. It is approved to treat high iron levels in people who must receive frequent blood transfusions due to a genetic condition known as thalassemia.
Thalassemia is a group of inherited blood diseases that affect a person's ability to produce hemoglobin in red blood cells. A person with this condition does not have enough hemoglobin or red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body, which can cause mild-to-severe anemia.
The main form of thalassemia treatment is blood transfusions. Although this can be an effective treatment for anemia, frequent transfusions have some risks. One of the main risks is iron overload. With each transfusion, more and more iron is added to the body, and the body has no efficient way to remove it. If the iron is not removed, it will damage organs like the heart and liver.
Chelation therapy, including Ferriprox, is used to remove the excess iron so that transfusions can continue with less chance of damage to the organs.

How Does It Work?

Ferriprox is an iron chelator. This means that it binds with iron in the blood, allowing it to be excreted through the urine; normally, iron cannot be excreted through the urine. Using Ferriprox, however, helps to lower levels of iron in the blood.

Is It Safe for Children or Teens to Use Ferriprox?

Ferriprox is not approved for use in individuals younger than 18 years old, as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medication in children.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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