Generic Name(s): deferoxamine
Drug Class: Chelating agents
Treats: iron poisoning
Desferal, generic name deferoxamine, belongs to a group of drugs known as Antidotes Chelating agents. Desferal binds to irons and removes it from the bloodstream. This medication is used for treating iron overload that may have been caused by blood transfusions in adults and children patients who are older than three years old. This medication may also be used for other purposes that have not been highlighted.
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Desferal is used by healthcare professionals to treat sudden iron poisoning. Desferal works best when given immediately to a patient who has just ingested the iron causing the poisoning. The medication may also be used in patients to get rid of iron in cases where there is an overload of iron in the blood due to multiple blood transfusions. This medication basically functions by helping the kidney and the gallbladder to get rid of the extra iron. This medication however, is not suitable for patients under the age of three. Desferal can also be used to treat high levels of aluminum in dialysis patients and people with aluminum poisoning.
- Iron Poisoning
Desferal binds to irons and removes it from the bloodstream. Depending upon the patient's medical condition the medication is usually injected directly into the muscle, under the skin or into the vein of the patient as directed by the physician. The dosage of this medical condition depends on the response of the patient to the treatment.
- The dose of 1000 mg should be administered and will be followed by 500 mg that should be initiated after every four hours for two doses.
- Depending on the patient's response additional doses of 500 mg may be administered every 4-12 hours. The total dosage administered to the patient in this case should not exceed 6000 mg in 24 hours.
Desferal Side Effects
Not all the side effects of Desferal are reported, therefore patients should ensure they notify their physicians of any effects they experience while undertaking this medication. If any of the following side effects are experienced, patients are advised to see a doctor immediately.
- Bluish fingernails
- Blurred vision
- Hearing problems
- Flushing of the skin
- Difficulty urinating
- Stomach Discomfort
- Unusual bleeding
- Leg cramps
Desferal interaction with other drugs may cause it to change the way it functions in the body. It can also lead to very severe side effects to the patient. Patients are therefore advised to ensure that they inform their physicians of all the medication that they may be taking to avoid interactions with Desferal. Some of the drugs known to interact with Desferal are listed below.