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The FDA has approved deferiprone (de fer’ i prone; Ferriprox – ApoPharma), an oral chelating agent available in Europe since 1999, for use as a second-line treatment of iron overload due to blood transfusions (transfusional hemosiderosis) in patients with thalassemia. Two other iron chelating agents, deferoxamine (Desferal, and others), which is usually administered subcutaneously, and oral deferasirox (Exjade), are available for use as first-line therapy in the US.
IRON OVERLOAD — Iron overload is a complication of long-term transfusion therapy in patients with diseases such as beta-thalassemia, sickle cell anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. It can damage the liver, pancreas, other endocrine organs and the heart.1 Cardiac damage can lead to arrhythmias, congestive heart failure and death. Deferoxamine can prevent these effects, but... more