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Anemia is a blood condition that can be treated with Epogen. Uses of the drug specifically include the treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney failure, zidovudine (an HIV medication), and chemotherapy. It can also be used to prevent blood transfusions in people with anemia who are undergoing surgery. Off-label Epogen uses may include the treatment of severe orthostatic hypotension and anemia in premature infants.

Epogen Uses: An Overview

Epogen® (epoetin alfa) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of anemia. It is part of a group of medications known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). Specifically, Epogen is approved for the following uses:
  • Treating anemia caused by zidovudine (Retrovir®, Combivir®, Trizivir®), an HIV medication
  • Treating anemia due to chronic kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Treating anemia caused by chemotherapy in people with cancer
  • Preventing blood transfusions in people with anemia who are undergoing surgery.

What Is Anemia?

Anemia is a blood condition in which there is an abnormally low number of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen (O2) to tissues and organs throughout your body and enable them to use the energy from food. Without oxygen, these tissues and organs -- particularly the heart and brain -- may not do their jobs as well as they should. Therefore, if you have anemia, you may tire easily and appear pale. Anemia may also contribute to heart problems. General anemia symptoms include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Numbness or coldness in your hands and feet
  • Headache
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Not doing well in work or school
  • Low body temperature
  • Rapid heartbeat.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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