Aranesp

(darbepoetin alfa)

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Treats anemia.

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Our bottom line

Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) is effective at treating low red blood cell count, but it might cause tumor growth and raise risk of blood clots.

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    $3082.88
Quick facts about Aranesp
  • Drug class: Hematopoietic
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Upsides

  • Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) is a good choice for your anemia if you have kidney problems or cancer that hasn't responded to other medications.
  • Injected less frequently than the alternative medicine.
  • This medicine is not as likely to cause an allergic reaction because it doesn't contain an ingredient called albumin unlike its alternative option.
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What to expect from Aranesp, on one page

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Downsides

  • Has many serious side effects that could lead to life-threatening clots.
  • Only available as an injectable and is very expensive.
  • Your blood has to be constantly monitored.
  • You must have a good amount of iron in your blood before you can start this medicine.
  • In studies, Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) did not improve a person's quality of life or survival any better than a placebo
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What to expect from Aranesp, on one page

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How it works

Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) is a hematopoietic agent. It helps your body produce more red blood cells by increasing the number of premature red blood cells.

Quick facts about Aranesp
  • Drug class: Hematopoietic
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Used for

  • Anemia due to chemotherapy
  • Anemia of chronic kidney failure
  • Anemia due to myelodysplastic syndromes

Dosage forms

  • Injection
Tried Aranesp? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) for Chronic kidney disease anemia

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Low blood pressure during injection
  • Rash or swelling in injection site
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Swelling in arms and legs
  • High blood pressure
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Side effect rates for Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa)

From 2112 clinical trials of Aranesp when taken for anemia associated with non-myeloid malignancies (varied from once weekly to once every 4 weeks)
  • Any blood clot event
    6%6%
    4%4%
  • Blood clot in vein
    5%5%
    4%4%
  • Stroke
    2%2%
    2%2%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Aranesp.

Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa)
Placebo

People taking Aranesp felt side effect more

People taking Aranesp felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa)

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  • Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) can raise your chance of death by blood clots. To prevent this, make sure you're regularly seeing your doctor and getting blood tests.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Pharmacist Q&A

Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) questions for

Frequently Asked Questions

This medication treats anemia (low red blood cell count) caused by cancer in people currently undergoing chemotherapy.

Who is this drug for?

This medication treats anemia (low red blood cell count) caused by cancer in people currently undergoing chemotherapy.

Common concerns from people taking Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa)

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Kidneys and liver
  • Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) is a good choice for your anemia if you have kidney problems or cancer that hasn't responded to other medications.