Eltrombopag - oral
Eltrombopag - oral
Rarely, eltrombopag has caused severe (possibly fatal) liver problems. Get medical help right away if you develop symptoms of liver problems (such as persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin).
People with a certain liver problem (chronic hepatitis C) who are taking this medication with ribavirin and interferon may sometimes experience worsening of their liver problem. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including symptoms of liver problems, stomach/abdominal swelling, or mental/mood changes. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.
To help decrease the risk of liver problems, your doctor will order laboratory tests (liver function tests). Do every laboratory test ordered by your doctor and keep all medical appointments. Your doctor will order liver tests before you start eltrombopag, every 2 weeks as the dose is changed, and every 2 to 4 weeks after you have been taking the same dose for a while.
This medication is used to treat low platelet levels in people who have a certain blood disorder called chronic immune (idiopathic) thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP) or who have chronic hepatitis C. It may also be used to treat people with a certain blood disorder (aplastic anemia). Platelets are a type of blood cell needed to form blood clots and prevent bleeding. Eltrombopag decreases your risk of bleeding by increasing the number of platelets. Eltrombopag acts like a certain natural substance (thrombopoietin) that causes the body to produce platelets.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using eltrombopag and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. Take on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal.
The manufacturer directs not to split, chew, or crush the tablet before taking it, and not to mix it with food or liquid. However, many similar drugs (immediate-release tablets) can be split, chewed, or crushed. Follow your doctor's directions on how to take this medication. The manufacturer also states that the powder from the tablet may stain surfaces.
If you are using the suspension powder, read the manufacturer's Instructions for Use before you start using this medication. Ask your health care provider if you have any questions. Carefully follow the directions to mix and use each dose. Use the provided mixing bottle to mix each dose with cool or cold water. Gently and slowly shake the mixing bottle for at least 20 seconds to mix the water with the powder. After mixing, give this medication right away. Use the provided special measuring device (oral syringe) to prepare and give each dose. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Do not re-use the oral syringe. Use a new oral syringe for each dose. If not used right away, the mixed medication may be stored at room temperature for up to 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, throw away any unused mixture, or any mixture left in the bottle. Clean the mixing supplies as directed.
Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking any products that contain magnesium, aluminum, or calcium. Some examples include antacids, vitamins/minerals, quinapril, certain forms of didanosine (chewable/dispersible buffered tablets or pediatric oral solution), and sucralfate. Follow the same instructions with dairy products (such as milk, yogurt), calcium-enriched juice, bismuth subsalicylate, iron, selenium, and zinc. These products bind with eltrombopag, preventing its full absorption.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and laboratory tests. Your doctor will order blood tests (platelet counts) to find the right dose for you. Keep all medical/lab appointments. Follow your doctor's directions carefully. If you are of Asian descent or if you have liver problems, your doctor may direct you to start with a lower dose because you may be more sensitive to its effects.
Your risk of bleeding may increase when you stop using eltrombopag. After your last dose, your doctor should order a blood test once a week for at least 4 weeks to check your platelet count. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any bleeding/bruising.
Ask your doctor if you should continue taking your other medications for ITP (such as corticosteroids, azathioprine, danazol) while you are using eltrombopag.
Tell your doctor if your condition (bleeding/bruising) persists or worsens.
See also Warning section.
Nausea, diarrhea, headache, muscle pain, and tingling/numbness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:
This medication may rarely cause serious problems from blood clots in the heart, brain, legs, or lungs (such as heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism), especially if your platelet counts are too high. Keep all medical/lab test appointments. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:
Eltrombopag can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Get medical help right away if you develop any rash.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
In the US -
Before using eltrombopag, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using eltrombopag. Eltrombopag may harm an unborn baby. Ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 7 days after stopping treatment. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also How to Use.
Eltrombopag can slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include "statin" drugs (such as atorvastatin, fluvastatin, rosuvastatin), methotrexate, repaglinide, rifampin, among others.
This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (creatinine and bilirubin), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Although this medication increases platelets and decreases the risk of bleeding, continue to avoid activities that can increase your risk of bleeding (such as contact sports, using sharp objects like razors and nail cutters).
This medication must be used under close medical supervision so that your doctor can monitor your blood counts. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood/platelet counts, eye exams) should be performed before you start treatment, weekly when first starting the drug, and then monthly to monitor your progress and check for side effects. See also Warnings section. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take more than 1 dose in 24 hours. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Different brands and forms of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for storage instructions or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised January 2019.
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