Another Facts About Erythopoietin Hormone


Erythropoietin is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body, and it is produced by the kidneys. It stimulates the body to produce more red blood cells. Erythropoietin is used to treat anaemia, as a disease in its own right or as a symptom of another disease, for example: kidney failure. Erythropoietin can be given to patients with cancer who have anaemia, either because of the disease or the chemotherapy medical treatment. Erythropoietin has also become more known as a drug used by athletes but this use in sport is illegal and it can be detected by chemical tests.

How Erythropoietin it given?

It is generally given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneously or SC). It usually needs to be given one to three times a week.

Injections under the skin can often be quite distressing for your child. Please speak to one of the nurses or play specialists about how you can help your child to cope with these injections.

Erythropoietin is usually given using a pre-filled syringe or injection pen. There are two different types. Which one your child receives will depend on the amount of Erythropoietin prescribed. Parents and older children can be taught to give the injections or your community or practice nurse can give them.

What are the side effects of Erythropoietin?

In our experience, side effects of erythropoietin are very rare but each person reacts differently to medicines and it’s a good idea to know about them just in case.

High blood pressure: Your child may complain of having
a headache or feeling dizzy. Your child’s blood pressure will be checked regularly during treatment but please tell your doctor or nurse if this occurs.

Skin reactions: Please tell your doctor if your child develops any rashes.

Epileptic fits: These may sometimes occur if your child is taking erythropoietin so anti-epileptic medicines may be given. If your child has a seizure, contact your doctor immediately.

Headaches: Some children find that erythropoietin gives them headaches. Tell the doctor if your child complains of headaches while having treatment. You can give your child paracetamol to relieve any pain, unless your doctor has advised against this.

Very rare side effects: Flu-like symptoms and bone pain. Your child may have headaches, aching joints and muscles, a temperature, lethargy and chills. You may give your child paracetamol to relieve these symptoms, unless your doctor has advised against this.

If you are concerned about any of these side effects, please ring one of the contact numbers on this fact sheet and ask to speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Important information about Erythropoietin:

  • Keep erythropoietin, like all medicines, in a safe place out of the reach of children.

  • Erythropoietin should be stored in your fridge, between 2° and 8°C.
  • It should be taken as directed by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist
  • Do not shake the bottle.
  • Store out of direct light.
  • If you forget to give your child his or her dose, give the dose as soon as you remember. It is important that your child receives the prescribed amount each week. Inform your doctor or nurse if you forget a dose and keep to your child’s regular schedule.
  • Your child may also need to take iron tablets in conjunction with erythropoietin.
  • If the doctor decides to stop treatment, return any remaining medicine to the pharmacist. Do not flush or throw them away.
  • Erythropoietin will usually be prescribed by your GP but occasionally the hospital will prescribe it. Your nurse will explain this before you go home.

Based on an article of the UCL.

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  1. One Response to “Another Facts About Erythopoietin Hormone”

  2. By Magdalena Demoney on Dec 16, 2011 | Reply

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