Included as part of the "PRECAUTIONS" Section
Agranulocytosis And Neutropenia
Fatal agranulocytosis can occur with FERRIPROX use. FERRIPROX can also cause neutropenia, which may foreshadow agranulocytosis. Measure the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) before starting FERRIPROX therapy and monitor it weekly while on therapy.
Interrupt FERRIPROX therapy if neutropenia develops (ANC < 1.5 x 109/L).
Interrupt FERRIPROX if infection develops and monitor the ANC frequently.
Advise patients taking FERRIPROX to immediately interrupt therapy and report to their physician if they experience any symptoms indicative of infection.
In pooled clinical trials, the incidence of agranulocytosis was 1.7% of patients. The mechanism of FERRIPROX-associated agranulocytosis is unknown. Agranulocytosis and neutropenia usually resolve upon discontinuation of FERRIPROX, but there have been reports of agranulocytosis leading to death.
Implement a plan to monitor for and to manage agranulocytosis and neutropenia prior to initiating FERRIPROX treatment.
For Agranulocytosis (ANC < 0.5 x 109/L)
Consider hospitalization and other management as clinically appropriate.
Do not resume FERRIPROX in patients who have developed agranulocytosis unless potential benefits outweigh potential risks. Do not rechallenge patients who have developed neutropenia with FERRIPROX unless potential benefits outweigh potential risks.
For Neutropenia (ANC < 1.5 x 109/L And > 0.5 x 109/L)
Instruct the patient to immediately discontinue FERRIPROX and all other medications with a potential to cause neutropenia.
Obtain a complete blood cell (CBC) count, including a white blood cell (WBC) count corrected for the presence of nucleated red blood cells, an absolute neutrophil count (ANC), and a platelet count daily until recovery (ANC ≥ 1.5 x 109/L).
Liver Enzyme Elevations
In clinical studies, 7.5% of 642 patients treated with FERRIPROX developed increased ALT values. Four (0.62%) FERRIPROX-treated subjects discontinued the drug due to increased serum ALT levels and 1 (0.16%) due to an increase in both ALT and AST.
Monitor serum ALT values monthly during therapy with FERRIPROX and consider interruption of therapy if there is a persistent increase in the serum transaminase levels.
Decreased plasma zinc concentrations have been observed on FERRIPROX therapy. Monitor plasma zinc, and supplement in the event of a deficiency.
Based on findings from animal reproduction studies and evidence of genotoxicity, FERRIPROX can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. The available data on the use of FERRIPROX in pregnant women are insufficient to inform risk. In animal studies, administration of deferiprone during the period of organogenesis resulted in embryo-fetal death and malformations at doses lower than equivalent human clinical doses. Advise pregnant women and females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to the fetus [see Use In Specific Populations].
Advise females of reproductive potential to use an effective method of contraception during treatment with FERRIPROX and for at least six months after the last dose. Advise males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with FERRIPROX and for at least three months after the last dose [see Use In Specific Populations].
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide)
Store in the originally supplied bottle, closed tightly to protect from moisture.
Advise patients to take the first dose of FERRIPROX in the morning, the second dose at midday, and the third dose in the evening. Clinical experience suggests that taking FERRIPROX with meals may reduce nausea.
Advise patients to take the first dose of FERRIPROX tablets (twice a day) in the morning and the second in the evening.
Advise patients to take FERRIPROX tablets (twice a day) with food to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting.
Advise patients to avoid alcohol while taking FERRIPROX tablets (twice a day). Consumption of alcohol while taking FERRIPROX tablets (twice a day) may result in more rapid release of deferiprone
- Instruct patients and their caregivers to store FERRIPROX at 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C); excursions permitted to 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].
- FERRIPROX tablets (three times a day):
- FERRIPROX tablets (twice a day):
- If a dose of this medicine has been missed, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the regular dosing schedule. Do not catch-up or double doses.
- Inform patients of the risks of developing agranulocytosis and instruct them to immediately interrupt therapy and report to their physician if they experience any symptoms of infection such as fever, sore throat or flu-like symptoms.
- Advise patients to contact their physician in the event of overdose.
- Inform patients that their urine might show a reddish/brown discoloration due to the excretion of iron. This is a very common sign of the desired effect, and it is not harmful.
Advise pregnant women and females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females to inform their healthcare provider of a known or suspected pregnancy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use In Specific Populations]. Advise female patients of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with FERRIPROX and for at least six months after the last dose [see Use In Specific Populations]. Advise males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with FERRIPROX and for at least three months after the last dose [see Use In Specific Populations and Nonclinical Toxicology].
Advise females not to breastfeed during treatment with FERRIPROX and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose [see Use In Specific Populations].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Carcinogenicity studies have not been conducted with deferiprone. However, in view of the genotoxicity results, and the findings of mammary gland hyperplasia and mammary gland tumors in rats treated with deferiprone in the 52-week toxicology study, tumor formation in carcinogenicity studies must be regarded as likely.
Deferiprone was positive in a mouse lymphoma cell assay in vitro. Deferiprone was clastogenic in an in vitro chromosomal aberration test in mice and in a chromosomal aberration test in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells. Deferiprone given orally or intraperitoneally was clastogenic in a bone marrow micronucleus assay in non-iron-loaded mice. A micronucleus test was also positive when mice predosed with iron dextran were treated with deferiprone. Deferiprone was not mutagenic in the Ames bacterial reverse mutation test.
A fertility and early embryonic development study of deferiprone was conducted in rats. Sperm counts, motility and morphology were unaffected by treatment with deferiprone. There were no effects observed on male or female fertility or reproductive function at the highest dose which was 25% of the MRHD.
Use In Specific Populations
In animal reproduction studies, oral administration of deferiprone to pregnant rats and rabbits during organogenesis at doses 33% and 49%, respectively, of the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) resulted in structural abnormalities, embryo-fetal mortality and alterations to growth (see Data). The limited available data deferiprone use in pregnant women are insufficient to inform a drug-associated risk of major birth defects and miscarriage. Based on evidence and developmental toxicity in animal studies, FERRIPROX can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise pregnant women and females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and of miscarriage is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.
Post-marketing data available from 39 pregnancies of deferiprone-treated patients and 10 pregnancies of partners of deferipronetreated patients are as follows:
Of the 39 pregnancies in deferiprone-treated patients, 23 resulted in healthy newborns, 6 ended in spontaneous abortion, 9 had unknown outcomes, and 1 infant was born with anal atresia, nephroptosis, ventricular septal defect, hemivertebra and urethral fistula.
Of the 10 pregnancies in partners of deferiprone-treated patients, 5 resulted in healthy newborns, 1 resulted in a healthy newborn with slight hypospadias, 1 was electively terminated, 1 resulted in the intrauterine death of twins, and 2 had unknown outcomes.
During organogenesis, pregnant rats and rabbits received deferiprone at oral doses of 0, 30, 80 or 200 mg/kg/day, and 0, 10, 50, or 150 mg/kg/day, respectively. The daily dose was administered as two equal divided doses approximately 7 hours apart. Doses of 200 mg/kg/day in rats and 150 mg/kg/day in rabbits, approximately 33% and 49% of the MRHD, respectively, resulted in increased post-implantation loss and reduced fetal weights in the presence of maternal toxicity (reduced maternal body weight and body weight gain in both rats and rabbits; abnormal large placenta at low incidence in rats). The 200 mg/kg/day dose in rats resulted in external, visceral and skeletal fetal malformations such as cranial malformations, cleft palate, limb malrotation, anal atresia, internal hydrocephaly, anophthalmia and fused bones. The dose of 150 mg/kg/day in rabbits resulted in external fetal malformations (partially opened eyes) and minor blood vessel and skeletal variations.
In rats, malformations including micrognathia and persistent ductus arteriosus could be observed in the absence of maternal toxicity at doses equal to or greater than 30 and 80 mg/kg/day, approximately 5% and 13% of the MHRD, respectively.
There is no information regarding the presence of deferiprone in human milk, the effects on the breastfed child, or the effects on milk production.
Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in the breastfed child, including the potential for tumorigenicity shown for deferiprone in animal studies, advise patients that breastfeeding is not recommended during FERRIPROX, and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose.
Females And Males Of Reproductive Potential
Pregnancy testing is recommended for females of reproductive potential prior to initiating FERRIPROX.
FERRIPROX can cause embryo-fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman [see Pregnancy]. Advise female patients of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with FERRIPROX and for at least 6 months after the last dose.
Based on genotoxicity findings, advise males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with FERRIPROX and for at least 3 months after the last dose [see Nonclinical Toxicology].
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Clinical studies of deferiprone did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients.