MHRA Drug Safety Update 2007
• Patients should only be treated when symptoms of anaemia are present
• The haemoglobin concentration should be maintained within the range 10-12g/100ml (avoid concentrations higher than 12g/100ml). The haemaglobin concentration should not be increased beyond that which provides adequate control of symptoms of anaemia.
• Treatment of symptomatic anaemia with erythropoeitins in patients with cancer is only licensed for patients receiving chemotherapy.
• The decision to use erythropoietin should be based on an assessment of the benefits and risks for individual patients; blood transfusion may be the preferred treatment for anaemia associated with cancer chemotherapy.
There have been very rare reports of pure red cell aplasia in patients treated with epoetin alfa. These patients should not be switched to another form of erythropoietin.