Eltrombopag is used to treat immune thrombocytopenia, also known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (a bleeding disorder in which platelets are destroyed by the immune system).
It is also used to treat thrombocytopenia (lower than normal platelet counts in the blood) associated with hepatitis C virus infection or due to severe aplastic anaemia.
Take Eltrombopag exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take it on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
This medicine is available as tablet or powder for suspension.
If you are taking the tablet, swallow it whole with a glass of water. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet.
If you are given the powder for suspension, follow these steps:
- Prepare a cup of drinking water.
- Push the plunger all the way into the syringe.
- Place the tip of the oral syringe into the cup of water and draw 20mL of water.
- Place the tip of the oral syringe into the mixing bottle. Empty the water into the open mixing bottle.
- Take the required dose and fill the mixing bottle with the powder.
- Close the lid of the mixing bottle tightly.
- Gently and slowly shake the mixing bottle for at least 20 seconds.
- Transfer the mixture into the oral syringe.
- Administer the entire contents of the mixing bottle using the oral syringe. Use within 30 minutes of preparation.
Avoid any direct contact with Eltrombopag when preparing the suspension. You may wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly before and after the preparation.
Eltrombopag must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Eltrombopag even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it suddenly as this may worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- risk factors for thromboembolism (blockage of a blood vessel by a blood clot) e.g. prolonged periods of immobilisation, obesity, cigarette smoking
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Liver function tests and eye examination may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Regular monitoring of platelet counts may also be needed. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Eltrombopag may cause dizziness and lack of alertness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, diarrhoea, back pain, dry mouth, rash, vomiting, cataract (clouding of the lens of the eye), sore throat, cough, muscle pain, headache, difficulty sleeping, rash, dry skin, itchiness and hair loss.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- stomach pain or swelling
- dark or tea-coloured urine
- light-coloured bowel
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medications:
- ciclosporin (medicine used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders)
- lopinavir/ritonavir (medicine for HIV infection)
- cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. rosuvastatin, simvastatin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Eltrombopag.
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.
Take Eltrombopag at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after antacids (medicines that reduce stomach acid production), dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt or ice cream or other calcium-containing food products or mineral supplements such as iron, calcium, magnesium, aluminium, selenium and zinc. These products may reduce the effectiveness of Eltrombopag when taken at the same time.
Store in a cool, dry place away from reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.