What is the treatment options for hemochromatosis with anemia?

Updated: Apr 03, 2017
  • Author: Andrea Duchini, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Patients affected with anemia cannot be treated with phlebotomy. Thus, application of iron chelation agents (eg, deferoxamine, deferiprone, deferasirox) is recommended. [92]

Deferoxamine is administered intravenously or subcutaneously at doses ranging from 25 to 40 mg/kg. Intravenous infusion is usually 8-10 hours in duration and is repeated 5 nights per week. Similar effects can be obtained with subcutaneous bolus injections administered twice daily. The main adverse effects are inflammatory reactions at the sites of injection, visual and auditory disturbances, bone growth disturbances, and allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.

Deferiprone is given orally in 3 divided doses of 75 mg/kg/d. Agranulocytosis, neutropenia, arthralgia, gastrointestinal reactions, and elevation of liver enzyme levels are the main adverse effects. Cardiac iron overload is better reduced by deferiprone than deferoxamine.

Deferasirox is an oral chelation agent, administered at 10-30 mg/kg. Deferasirox adverse effects can include elevation of the creatinine level, skin exanthem, diarrhea, and visual and auditory disturbances.

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