What Is Deferiprone Used For?

If you have a certain blood disease called thalassemia and receive frequent blood transfusions, your healthcare provider may prescribe deferiprone to help reduce the amount of iron in the blood. Some people with this condition develop an iron overload, and this medication can help remove the iron through the urine. There are also some "off-label" uses for deferiprone, such as reducing iron levels caused by other conditions.

An Overview of Uses for Deferiprone

Deferiprone (Ferriprox®) 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 thalassemia 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 option 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 deferiprone, is used to remove the excess iron so that transfusions can continue with less chance of damage to the organs.
 

How Does This Medication Work?

Deferiprone 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 deferiprone, therefore, helps to lower levels of iron in the blood.
 

Deferiprone Drug Information

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