Darbepoetin Alpha

Table of contents

  • Brand Names
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacologic Category
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Therapeutic Use
  • Pregnancy and Lactation Implications
  • Contraindications
  • Warnings and Precautions
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Genes that may be involved
  • Drug Interactions
  • Nutrition/Nutraceutical Interactions
  • Dosage
  • Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Special Considerations

Brand Names


Austria: Aranesp; Belgium: Aranesp; Bulgaria: Aranesp; Cyprus: Aranesp; Czech Republic: Aranesp; Denmark: Aranesp; Estonia: Aranesp; Finland: Aranesp; France: Aranesp; Germany: Aranesp; Greece: Aranesp; Hungary: Aranesp; Ireland: Aranesp; Italy: Aranesp; Latvia: Aranesp; Netherlands: Aranesp; Poland: Aranesp; Portugal: Aranesp; Romania: Aranesp; Slovakia: Aranesp; Spain: Aranesp; Sweden: Aranesp; UK: Aranesp.

North America

Canada: Aranesp; USA: Aranesp.


Japan: Nesp.

Drug combinations


Darbepoetin Alpha: C~800~H~1300~N~228~O~24~S~5~. Mw: 18174.01. (1) Erythropoietin [30-asparagine, 32-threonine, 87-valine, 88-asparagine, 90-threonine] (human); (2) [30-L-Asparagine-32-L-threonine-87-L-valine-88-L-asparagine-90-L-threonine]erythropoietin (human). CAS-209810-58-2 (2000).

Pharmacologic Category

Hematopoietic Agents. Antianemia Drugs. (ATC-Code: B03XA02).

Mechanism of action

A biosynthetic (recombinant DNA origin) form of the glycoprotein hormone erythropoietin. Induces erythropoiesis, stimulating the division and differentiation of committed erythroid progenitor cells. Induces the release of reticulocytes from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, where they mature to erythrocytes. This results in an increase in reticulocyte counts followed by a rise in hematocrit and hemoglobin levels.

Therapeutic use

Treatment of anemia associated with chronic renal failure in patients who are currently undergoing hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis therapy, as well as predialysis patients. Treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia in nonmyeloid malignancies.

Pregnancy and lactiation implications

Should be used in a pregnant woman only if potential benefit justifies potential risk to fetus. Caution is advised if the drug is administered in nursing women.

Unlabeled use


Hypersensitivity to darbepoetin or any component of the formulation. Uncontrolled hypertension.

Warnings and precautions

Potentially serious allergic reactions may occur (rash and urticaria). Cases of severe anemia and pure red cell aplasia reported, predominantly in patients with chronic renal failure receiving SubQ darbepoetin (the I.V. route is preferred for hemodialysis patients). Therapy with darbepoetin and other erythropoiesis-stimulating agents may increase risk of death and serious cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure, hemodialysis graft occlusion) when targeted to hemoglobin concentrations exceeding 12 g/dL (chronic renal failure patients or undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular and mortality events). An increased incidence of thromboembolic events (e.g. pulmonary embolism, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, thrombosis) observed in cancer patients receiving darbepoetin (not indicated for patients receiving myelosuppressive therapy when the anticipated outcome is curative). Caution in history of hypertension or history of seizures. May contain albumin and latex (theoretical risk of transmission of viral disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). Correct deficiencies of iron, vitamin B~12~, and/or folate, as well as other factors which may impair erythropoiesis (aluminum toxicity, inflammatory conditions, infections) prior to initiating treatment. Hemoglobin levels should not exceed a target range of 10-12 g/dL and should not rise >1 g/dL per 2-week time period during therapy in any patient. Solution should not be shaken.



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