Erythropoietin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by healthy kidneys which stimulates red blood cell production in the body. This drug is a medication that is used in dogs and cats during times of illness when their kidneys are not producing sufficient levels of erythropoietin. Erythropoietin is a prescription medication and can only be obtained from a veterinarian. It is available in an injectable form.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- A synthetic hormone
- Given by subcutaneous injection
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING:
- Dogs and cats suffering from chronic kidney do not produce normal levels of erythropoietin. Lack of erythropoietin can result in low levels of circulating red blood cells, i.e. an anemia. This anemia can contribute to poor appetite, lack of energy, and reduced quality of life in these pets. Synthetic erythropoietin can aid in the treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney disease.
WHAT DOGS/CATS SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION?
- Animals with uncontrolled high blood pressure, pre-existing cardiac disease or a history of seizures
- Erythropoietin is not indicated for use in animals with low iron levels
- Erythropoietin is not indicated for all cases of anemia or in pets with a normal red blood cell count
- Erythropoietin is not indicated in pets with a mild case of anemia secondary to chronic kidney disease
- Safety in breeding, pregnant, or nursing pets has not been established
- Animals with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to this drug should not take this medication
Read and follow the prescription label carefully.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. Ideally, give this medication at the same time(s) daily.
Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. The duration of treatment is usually dependent upon the response to the medication or the development of adverse effects. Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian.
Baseline blood work is required to assess your pet's general health and current level of anemia before starting this medication. Periodic blood work to monitor this medication's effects on the body is critical. Dose adjustments will likely be made based upon these results and an assessment of how your dog or cat is responding clinically.
Subcutaneous (under the skin) injections may be easily administered in the comfort of your home if your pet requires this form of therapy. If you are advised to provide these injections to your pet at home, follow your veterinarian’s directions carefully. Subcutaneous injections requires certain materials and a skill set for safe delivery. Inappropriate injection and delivery technique or use of non-sterile materials can result in infections. If you are unsure how your pet will react to an injection, request assistance or demonstration by your veterinarian. Ensure that you dispose of empty medication vials, needles, and syringes into an appropriate container.
Call ahead for refills.
WHAT IF A DOSE IS MISSED?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Erythropoietin should be stored in a childproof container in the refrigerator.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS:
- All injectable medications have the potential to cause an immediate allergic or anaphylactic reaction. Affected animals may have a swelling, hives, changes in respiration, and display signs of agitation. This can be a severe and life threatening reaction, immediate treatment with epinephrine is often required.
- This medication can cause the body to develop antibodies which results in a resistance to treatment and further worsening of the anemia
- This medication can cause a local injection site reaction and may be an early sign that your pet is developing antibodies against this medication
- This medication can affect the gastrointestinal system causing vomiting
- This medication can affect the central nervous system causing seizures
- This medication can affect the cardiovascular system causing an increase in blood pressure
- This medication can result in ocular inflammation, fever, joint pain, as well as ulcerations in in the mouth and lips
- If any of these symptoms are present or you notice anything else unusual, contact your veterinarian
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- This medication is commonly given in conjunction with an iron supplement
- Possible drug interactions may occur when giving Erythropoietin in conjunction with desmopressin, probenecid, and steroid hormones
- Drugs other than those listed may also interact with Erythropoietin
- Do not give new food or medications without first talking to your veterinarian
- If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet receives more than the prescribed amount.
WHAT TO TELL/ASK A VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING MEDICATION?Talk to your veterinarian about:
- When your pet will need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- What are the risks and benefits of using this drug
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver, kidney, or cardiac disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medications can be given together.
- If your pet is pregnant, nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, Erythropoietin should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.
It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
This is just a summary of information about Erythropoietin. If you have any questions or concerns about it or the condition it was prescribed for, please contact your veterinarian.