Epoetin beta is used to treat anaemia in adults and in children with kidney disease. Anaemia is characterised as a low level of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
This medicine may also be used for autologous blood transfusion, wherein Epoetin beta increases the amount of your own blood which is then taken before an operation and given back during or after the same operation.
Epoetin beta is to be given intravenously (into the vein) via an injection. It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
Your doctor or nurse will administer this medicine for you.
The dose of Epoetin beta will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the severity of your condition, effectiveness of therapy and your tolerability to this medicine.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Epoetin beta.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- poorly controlled high blood pressure
- heart attack or stroke a month before treatment, chest pain, risk of formation of blood clots in the blood vessels or history of formation of blood clots in the blood vessels (if intended to be used for autologous blood transfusion
as Epoetin beta may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe heart or blood vessel disease
- refractory anaemia with excess blasts in transformation (a type of blood cancer characterised by increases of immature blood cells in the bone marrow and/or blood in the periphery)
- high level of platelets (component of the blood that helps during clotting) in the blood
- sudden stabbing migraine-like headaches
- fits or seizures
- pure red cell aplasia (a condition in which the bone marrow stops making red blood cells, causing anaemia)
- liver failure
- kidney failure
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are going for dialysis or any surgery, inform your doctor that you are using Epoetin beta.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to this medicine regularly. Your doctor may also need to do routine blood tests (e.g. platelet counts, levels of potassium, phosphate in the blood) while you are being treated with this medicine. Your haemoglobin (protein in red blood cells) levels and iron (a mineral in the body essential for blood production) status should also be evaluated before and during treatment with Epoetin beta.
Epoetin beta may cause any of the following side effects: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, chills, limb or bone pain and redness, swelling, and pain at the injection site.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen face
- signs and symptoms of formation of blood clots in the blood vessels e.g. leg pain, paleness or coolness of a leg
- signs and symptoms of severe high blood pressure e.g. sudden migraine-like headache, confusion, trouble speaking, unsteady gait
- signs and symptoms of pure red cell aplasia e.g. pale skin, tiredness, shortness of breath, dizziness
- fits or seizures
- severe rash with blisters, sores or peeling
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used. Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.