Which medications in the drug class Chelating Agents are used in the treatment of Beta Thalassemia?

Updated: Nov 27, 2019
  • Author: Pooja Advani, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Chelating Agents

These agents bind iron and promote excretion.

Deferoxamine (Desferal)

Deferoxamine is usually administered as a slow, subcutaneous infusion through a portable pump. It is freely soluble in water. Approximately 8 mg of iron is bound by 100 mg of deferoxamine. This agent is excreted in bile and urine, resulting in red discoloration. It readily chelates iron from ferritin and hemosiderin, but not from transferrin. Deferoxamine is most effective when it is administered as a continuous infusion.

Deferasirox (Exjade)

Deferasirox is available as a tablet for oral suspension. It is an oral iron-chelating agent that reduces liver iron concentration and serum ferritin levels. Deferasirox binds iron with high affinity in a 2:1 ratio. It is approved for treatment of chronic iron overload due to multiple blood transfusions and non–transfusion-dependent thalassemia.

Deferiprone (Ferriprox)

Deferiprone is an iron chelator indicated for patients with transfusional iron overload due to thalassemia syndromes when current chelation therapy is inadequate. Approval is based on a reduction in serum ferritin levels. No controlled trials have demonstrated a direct treatment benefit, such as improvement in disease-related symptoms, functioning, or increased survival. It is available as 500-mg, film-coated tablets.

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