When should erythropoietin be used in the management of anemia in pediatric HIV infection and what is the recommended regimen?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Delia M Rivera, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Serum erythropoietin levels of less than 500 IU/L and anemia due to bone marrow suppression as a result of infection, inflammation, or pharmaceutical agents should be managed with erythropoietin. Other causes of anemia must be ruled out and managed before erythropoietin is given.

Erythropoietin should be started at a dosage of 100 U/kg given subcutaneously 3 times per week; this may be increased to 200 U/kg/dose. After the hematocrit returns to normal, dosing should be decreased to once every week or every other week to maintain a stable hematocrit. Adverse effects include pain at the injection site and fever. Supplemental iron should always be given with erythropoietin therapy.


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