Which medications in the drug class Hematopoietic Growth Factors are used in the treatment of Multiple System Atrophy?

Updated: Oct 17, 2018
  • Author: André Diedrich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Hematopoietic Growth Factors

These agents correct anemia associated with MSA.

Epoetin alfa (Epogen, Procrit)

This is a recombinant EPO that has been shown to increase the functional capacity of patients with MSA, particularly those with characteristic mild anemia. Up to 38% of patients with severe autonomic failure have anemia. A lack of sympathetic stimulation may lead to decreased EPO production and anemia. Sympathetic impairment and low plasma norepinephrine levels are correlated with the severity of anemia.

Even low doses (25-50 U/kg SC 3 times weekly) of epoetin alfa have successfully corrected anemia and improved upright BP. The drug's biologic activity mimics that of human urinary EPO, which stimulates the division and differentiation of committed erythroid progenitor cells and induces the release of reticulocytes from bone marrow into the bloodstream.

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