Epoetin Alpha

Table of contents

  • Brand Names
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacologic Category
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Therapeutic Use
  • Unlabeled Use
  • Contraindications
  • Warnings and Precautions
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Caution and personalized dose adjustment in patients with the following genotypes
  • Other genes that may be involved
  • Drug Interactions
  • Dosage
  • Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Special Considerations

Brand Names


Austria: Erypo; Belgium: Eprex; Bulgaria: Eprex; Cyprus: Eprex; Czech Republic: Abseamed, Binocrit, Epoetin Alfa, Eprex; Denmark: Eprex; Estonia: Abseamed, Binocrit, Epoetin Alfa, Eprex; Finland: Binocrit, Eprex; France: Binocrit, Eprex; Germany: Abseamed, Binocrit, Epoetin Alfa, Eprex, Erypo; Greece: Abseamed, Binocrit, Eprex; Hungary: Eprex; Ireland: Eprex; Latvia: Abseamed, Binocrit, Epoetin Alfa, Eprex; Lithuania: Abseamed, Binocrit, Epoetin Alfa, Eprex; Malta: Eprex; Netherlands: Epoetin Alfa, Eprex; Poland: Abseamed, Binocrit, Eprex; Portugal: Abseamed, Binocrit, Epoetin Alfa, Eprex; Romania: Abseamed, Binocrit, Epoetin Alfa, Epokine, Epophar; Slovakia: Abseamed, Binocrit, Epoetin Alfa, Eprex; Slovenia: Eprex; Spain: Epopen, Eprex; Sweden: Abseamed, Binocrit, Epoetin Alfa, Eprex; UK: Binocrit, Eprex.

North America

Canada: Eprex; USA: Epogen/Procrit, Eprex.

Latin America

Argentina: Epogen, Eritrogen, Hemax, Hypercrit, Pronivel; Brazil: Eprex, Eritina, Hemax-Eritron, Hemoprex, Tinax; Mexico: Bioyetin, Epomax, Eprex, Erlan, Exetin-A, Negortire, Yepotin.


Japan: Espo.

Drug combinations


Epoetin Alpha: C~809~H~1301~N~229~O~240~S~5~. Mw: 18236.06. A 165 aa glycoprotein (approximately 62% protein and 38% carbohydrate by weight; total molecular weight of about 30000 daltons) which regulates red blood cell production. Epoetin Alpha is produced by Chinese hamster ovary cells into which the human erythropoietin gene has been inserted. (1) 1-165-Erythropoietin (human clone λHEPOFL13 protein moiety), glycoform α. CAS-113427-24-0 (1990).

Pharmacologic Category

Antianemia Drugs. Hematopoietic Agents; Colony Stimulating Factor. (ATC-Code: B03XA01).

Mechanism of action

A biosynthetic form of the glycoprotein hormone erythropoietin. A hematopoietic agent which induces erythropoiesis by 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. There is a dose-response relationship with this effect.

Therapeutic use

Treatment of anemia (elevate/maintain red blood cell level and decrease the need for transfusions) associated with HIV (zidovudine) therapy, chronic renal failure (including patients on dialysis and not on dialysis). Reduction of allogeneic blood transfusion for elective, noncardiac, nonvascular surgery. Treatment of anemia due to concurrent chemotherapy in metastatic cancer (nonmyeloid malignancies).

Pregnancy and lactiation implications

Unlabeled use

Treatment of anemia associated with critical illness. Anemia of prematurity. Symptomatic anemia in myelodysplastic syndrome.


Hypersensitivity to albumin (human) or mammalian cell-derived products. Uncontrolled hypertension.

Warnings and precautions

Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) increased the risk of serious cardiovascular events, thromboembolic events, and mortality in clinical studies; a rapid rise in hemoglobin (>1 g/dL over 2 weeks) or maintaining higher hemoglobin levels may contribute to these risks. Cases of severe anemia and pure red cell aplasia reported. A shortened overall survival and/or increased risk of tumor progression or recurrence reported in studies with breast, cervical, head and neck, lymphoid, and non-small cell lung cancer patients. ESAs not indicated for patients receiving myelosuppressive therapy when anticipated outcome is curative. Increased risk of death and serious cardiovascular events reported in patients administered ESAs to target higher vs lower hemoglobin levels in two clinical studies. Hypertensive encephalopathy reported in patients receiving erythropoietic therapy. Epoetin not approved for reduction of red blood cell transfusion in patients undergoing cardiac or vascular surgery. Use caution with porphyria (exacerbation of porphyria reported in chronic renal failure). Use with caution in history of seizures. An excessive rate of rise of hemoglobin may possibly be associated with exacerbation of seizures. Product may contain albumin, which confers a theoretical risk of transmission of viral disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Multidose vials contain benzyl alcohol, associated with «gasping syndrome» in neonates. Not recommended for acute correction of severe anemia or as a substitute for transfusion. Supplemental iron recommended if serum ferritin <100 µg/L or serum transferrin saturation <20%.



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