What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about DBL Desferrioxamine Mesylate for Injection BP (Desferrioxamine.)
It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor or pharmacist has weighed the risks of you being given desferrioxamine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet in a safe place. You may need to read it again.
What DBL Desferrioxamine Mesylate for Injection BP is used for
Desferrioxamine is a binding agent which is used to remove excess iron from the body thereby reducing damage that excess iron may cause. This may be necessary after poisoning with iron containing medicines or in certain patients with anaemia who receive many blood transfusions.
Desferrioxamine works by binding with the iron in the bloodstream. The bound compound can then be removed from the body.
Your doctor may have prescribed desferrioxamine for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Desferrioxamine is not addictive.
Desferrioxamine may be used in children but growth may be affected after prolonged treatment. Ask your doctor for further information.
This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.
Before you are given DBL Desferrioxamine Mesylate for Injection BP
When you must not be given it
You should not be given desferrioxamine if you have an allergy to desferrioxamine or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to desferrioxamine Injection may include:
- shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
- rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Desferrioxamine must not be given to you if you do not have any excess iron stores.
You should not be given desferrioxamine if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Like most medicines, desferrioxamine is not recommended for use during pregnancy, especially during the first three months, unless you and your doctor or pharmacist have discussed the risks and benefits involved.
It is not known whether desferrioxamine passes into breast milk.
Do not give desferrioxamine to children less than 2 to 3 years of age, unless directed by the child’s doctor.
You should not be given desferrioxamine after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack. If you are given this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.
You should not be given desferrioxamine if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If you are not sure whether you should start using desferrioxamine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Before you are given it
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have allergies to:
- any other medicines
- any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Desferrioxamine may affect your developing baby if you are given it during pregnancy. If it is necessary for you to be given desferrioxamine, your doctor or pharmacist will discuss the risks and benefits of you being given it during pregnancy.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
- problems with urination, eg kidney infection
- sight problems
- hearing problems
- signs of infection, such as fever, chills, stomach pain and/or sore throat
If you have not told your doctor or pharmacist about any of the above, tell them before you start treatment with desferrioxamine.
If you are being given Desferrioxamine for a prolonged period, you should have sight and hearing tests and a test to confirm blood iron levels before treatment begins.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and desferrioxamine may interfere with each other. These include:
- prochlorperazine; a drug sometimes used for nausea
- any phenothiazines, medicines used mainly to correct chemical imbalance in the brain, which may cause mental illness
- Methyldopa; a drug used to treat high blood pressure
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
These medicines may be affected by desferrioxamine or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you.
Your doctor and pharmacist may have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while you are being given desferrioxamine.
How DBL Desferrioxamine Mesylate for Injection BP is given
How much is given
Your doctor will decide what dose will receive. This depends on your condition and other factors, such as your weight.
How it is given
Desferrioxamine may be given as an injection into a muscle, under the skin or as a slow injection into a vein. It may also be given as a slow infusion (eg as a ‘drip’) into a vein or under the skin.
It should only be given by a doctor, nurse or other trained person.
Desferrioxamine is sometimes used for home infusions. If it is to be used at home you and your carers must be trained in its safe and appropriate use.
If you take too much (overdose)
As desferrioxamine is given to you under the supervision of your doctor, it is very unlikely that you will receive too much.
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre ( 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much desferrioxamine. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
While you are being given DBL Desferrioxamine Mesylate for Injection BP
Things you must do
Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who are treating you that you are being given desferrioxamine.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are being given this medicine.
If you plan to have surgery that needs a general anaesthetic, tell your doctor or dentist that you are being given this medicine.
If you become pregnant while being given desferrioxamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are being given desferrioxamine for a prolonged period, you should have tests to assess the amount of iron in your urine every few weeks. Sight and hearing tests should be repeated at three-month intervals.
Things you must not do
Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Desferrioxamine should not be used to treat any other complaints unless your doctor or pharmacist tells you so.
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine affects you. As with some other medicines, desferrioxamine may cause dizziness, light-headedness and visual disturbances in some people.
Make sure you know how you react to desferrioxamine before you drive a car, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or light-headed. If this occurs do not drive.
Be careful when drinking alcohol while you are taking this medicine. If you drink alcohol, dizziness or light-headedness may be worse.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are being given desferrioxamine. Desferrioxamine helps most people with too much iron in their blood, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects. If you are over 65 years of age you may have an increased chance of getting side effects.
If you are over 65 years of age you may have an increased chance of getting side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- Light-headedness or dizziness
- fast heart beat
- pain or swelling at the injection site
- hearing problems
- urine changes to orange-rose colour
- black stools
- skin rash, itchiness
- redness or flushing of the skin
- blurred vision or other problems with sight
These are the more common side effects of desferrioxamine. Mostly these are mild and short-lived.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything of the following:
- nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
- sore throat
- abdominal or stomach cramps
- problems with urination
- bone pain
- leg cramps
- signs of frequent infection, such as fever, chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
These may be serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
- irregular heart beat
- breathing problems
These are very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients.
After you have been given DBL Desferrioxamine Mesylate for Injection BP
Desferrioxamine should be stored in a cool dry place, protected from light, where the temperature stays below 25C.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking this medicine or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine that is left over.
What it looks like
Desferrioxamine is a white powder. It should be completely dissolved in Water for Injections before use, to produce a clear solution.
- Desferrioxamine Mesylate
There are no other ingredients.
Desferrioxamine for Injection does not contain lactose, sucrose, gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.
DBL Desferrioxamine Mesylate for Injection BP is sponsored by:
Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
Toll Free Number: 1800 675 229
DBL Desferrioxamine Mesylate for Injection BP is available in the following strengths:
500 mg/vial AUST R 53942.
2 g/vial AUST R 73173.
Date of leaflet preparation in October 2020.
™ = Trademark
Published by MIMS December 2020