Darbepoetin alfa is prescribed to treat anemia in patients who have chronic kidney failure or whose blood iron levels drop as a result of taking chemotherapy drugs after being diagnosed with cancer. It is injected directly into the veins and works by stimulating red blood cell growth in bone marrow. This drug is not effective for eliminating other types of anemia or for eliminating the symptoms of anemia such as extreme fatigue.
Taking this drug increases the risk of forming life-threatening blood clots, which can lead to strokes or heart attacks. Blood clots may form in the brain, lungs or legs as a result of this medication. They may also form in the place where you connect your dialysis tube to your body. If your dialysis tube stops working correctly, inform your doctor immediately.
This drug can interfere with the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Some patients experience a resurgence of cancer or the growth of new tumors after taking this drug. Cancer patients who take Dabepoetin Alfa are more likely to die of cancer than those who do not.