What is Eltrombopag used for?
Eltrombopag is used to treat low blood platelet counts in adults with chronic (long-term) idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), also called immune thrombocytopenic purpura. ITP is a blood disorder that may cause bleeding due to an abnormally low number of platelets in the blood.
Eltrombopag is prescribed in ITP patients only when other treatments, including medications or surgery to remove the spleen, have not been successful enough in increasing the platelet levels. Eltrombopag is used to increase the platelet levels enough to decrease the risk of bleeding, but it is not used to normalize platelet counts. Eltrombopag belongs to a group of medications called thrombopoietin receptor agonists.
ITP, idiopathic (of unknown cause) thrombocytopenic purpura, is caused when the immune system attacks and destroys platelets in the blood. Platelets are blood cells that are necessary for normal blood clotting, which helps the body to form blood clots during injury. Eltrombopag works by increasing the number of platelets, thus lowering the risk of bleeding in people with ITP.
Eltrombopag may also be used to treat low blood platelet counts in adults with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection to allow the initiation and maintenance of interferon-based therapy. This medicine may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.
What is the recommended dosage of Eltrombopag?
The dosage of Eltrombopag prescribed to each patient will vary. Always follow your physician’s instructions and/or the directions on the prescription drug label.
Take Eltrombopag on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. Also, take Eltrombopag at least 4 hours before or 4 hours after taking certain products such as dairy products (calcium-rich foods), antacids and mineral supplements containing calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, aluminum and magnesium.
What if you miss a dose of Eltrombopag?
If your physician has instructed or directed you to take Eltrombopag medication in a regular schedule and you have missed a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the doses to catch up for the missed dose. Do not take more than 1 dose of Eltrombopag in 24 hours.
What if you overdose on Eltrombopag?
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Eltrombopag, seek medical attention immediately.
Overdose symptoms of Eltrombopag may include skin rash, slow heart rate, sudden cough, loss of balance or sudden headache.
What other drugs could interact with Eltrombopag?
It may be noted that drugs other than those listed above may also interact with Eltrombopag.
Eltrombopag can interact with the following types of medicines: calcium supplements, anticoagulants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics, diabetes medications, heart rhythm medications, birth control pills, stomach acid reducers, cholesterol-lowering medicines, antacids containing magnesium, calcium or aluminum, and vitamin/mineral supplements containing iron, magnesium, selenium or zinc.
Usually drug interactions occur when it is taken with another drug or with food. Before you take a medication for a particular ailment, you should inform the health expert about intake of any other medications including non-prescription medications (over-the-counter products) and dietary supplements like vitamins, minerals and herbal, which may increase the effect of Eltrombopag, so that the doctor can warn you of any possible drug interactions.
Do let your doctor know if you smoke, consume alcohol or caffeinated drinks, or use illegal drugs as these may interfere with the action of your medication. Make sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions you may have, or any family history of medical problems. Do not start or stop using any medicine without consulting your doctor.
What are the side effects of Eltrombopag?
Like other medicines, Eltrombopag can cause some side effects. If they do occur, the side effects of Eltrombopag are most likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and may require the individual to inform the doctor or visit the nearest hospital immediately.
It is pertinent to note that side effects of Eltrombopag cannot be anticipated. If any side effects of Eltrombopag develop or change in intensity, the doctor should be informed as soon as possible.
Eltrombopag can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upper abdominal pain, back pain, muscle pain, common cold, tingling sensation in feet or hands, abnormal liver function tests, cataracts and rash. This is not a complete list of all side effects. Do concur with your doctor and follow his directions completely when you are taking Eltrombopag.
What are the questions to ask your doctor before taking Eltrombopag?
Is it possible for me to take Eltrombopag with other drugs?
Should certain beverages, foods and other products be avoided when I take Eltrombopag?
What are the possible drug interactions of Eltrombopag?
How will Eltrombopag work in my body?
How should Eltrombopag be taken?
How to reduce the risk of Eltrombopag drug interactions and side effects?
Before you take Eltrombopag, tell your doctor if you have had splenectomy (surgery to remove your spleen) and also if you have liver or kidney disease, blood clotting disorder, bone marrow disorder, blood cancer and cataract. Also tell your doctor if you are of East Asian descent. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
Store Eltrombopag at room temperature away from heat and moisture.
The health and medical information provided here is intended to supplement and not substitute for the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacists or other health care professional. It should not be understood to indicate that the use of Eltrombopag is safe, appropriate or effective for you. Always consult your health care professional before using this, or any other, drug.