The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Deferasirox (Exjade): A New Iron Chelator
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Deferasirox (Exjade – Novartis), an oral chelating agent, recently received accelerated approval from the FDA as an orphan drug for oral treatment of chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions (transfusional hemosiderosis) in patients ≥2 years old. Deferasirox is a tridentate (2 molecules of deferasirox bind to one atom of iron) chelating agent with high affinity for iron. It has much lower affinity for zinc and copper.

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. Cardiac damage can lead to arrhythmias, congestive heart failure and death.1 Deferoxamine (Desferal, and others), the only other drug approved in the US for iron chelation, can prevent these effects, but ... more      

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Title: Deferasirox (Exjade): A New Iron Chelator
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