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Torsades de pointes and ventricular tachycardia have been reported with anagrelide treatment. Obtain a pre-treatment cardiovascular examination, including an ECG in all patients. During treatment with Agrylin, monitor patients for cardiovascular effects and evaluate as necessary.

Anagrelide increases the QTc interval of the electrocardiogram and increases the heart rate in healthy volunteers (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Anagrelide should not be used in patients with known risk factors for QT interval prolongation, such as congenital long QT syndrome, a known history of acquired QTc prolongation, medicinal products that can prolong QTc interval and hypokalemia.

In patients with heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, or electrolyte abnormalities, consider periodic monitoring with electrocardiograms (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and PRECAUTIONS, Laboratory Tests).

Anagrelide is a phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3) inhibitor and may cause vasodilation, tachycardia, palpitations, and congestive heart failure. Other drugs that inhibit PDE3 have caused decreased survival when compared with placebo in patients with Class III-IV congestive heart failure.

In patients with cardiac disease, use Agrylin only when the benefits outweigh the risks.


Exposure to anagrelide is increased 8-fold in patients with moderate hepatic impairment (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Use of anagrelide in patients with severe hepatic impairment has not been studied. The potential risks and benefits of anagrelide therapy in a patient with mild and moderate impairment of hepatic function should be assessed before treatment is commenced. In patients with moderate hepatic impairment, dose reduction is required and patients should be carefully monitored for QTc prolongation and other cardiovascular effects (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION for specific dosing recommendations).

Interstitial Lung Diseases

Interstitial lung diseases (including allergic alveolitis, eosinophilic pneumonia and interstitial pneumonitis) have been reported to be associated with the use of anagrelide in post-marketing reports. Most cases presented with progressive dyspnea with lung infiltrations. The time of onset ranged from 1 week to several years after initiating anagrelide. In most cases, the symptoms improved after discontinuation of anagrelide (See ADVERSE REACTIONS).



Use of concomitant anagrelide and aspirin increased major hemorrhagic events in a postmarketing study. Assess the potential risks and benefits for concomitant use of anagrelide with aspirin, particularly in patients with a high risk profile for hemorrhage.

Laboratory Tests

Anagrelide therapy requires close clinical supervision of the patient and laboratory monitoring, including complete blood count (hemoglobin, white blood cell, and platelet counts), assessment of renal function (serum creatinine, BUN) and electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, and calcium). Since cases of clinically significant hepatotoxicity (including symptomatic ALT and AST elevations and elevations greater than three times the ULN) have been reported in post-marketing surveillance, measure liver enzymes (ALT, AST) before initiating anagrelide treatment and during therapy.


In 9 subjects receiving a single 5 mg dose of anagrelide, standing blood pressure fell an average of 22/15 mm Hg, usually accompanied by dizziness. Only minimal changes in blood pressure were observed following a dose of 2 mg.

Cessation Of AGRYLIN® Treatment

In general, interruption of anagrelide treatment is followed by an increase in platelet count. After sudden stoppage of anagrelide therapy, the increase in platelet count can be observed within four days.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

In a two year rat carcinogenicity study a higher incidence of uterine adenocarcinoma, relative to controls, was observed in females receiving 30mg/kg/day (at least 174 times human AUC exposure after a 1mg twice daily dose). Adrenal phaeochromocytomas were increased relative to controls in males receiving 3mg/kg/day and above, and in females receiving 10mg/kg/day and above (at least 10 and 18 times respectively human AUC exposure after a 1mg twice daily dose). Anagrelide hydrochloride was not genotoxic in the Ames test, the mouse lymphoma cell (L5178Y, TK+/-) forward mutation test, the human lymphocyte chromosome aberration test, or the mouse micronucleus test. Anagrelide hydrochloride at oral doses up to 240 mg/kg/day (1,440 mg/m²/day, 195 times the recommended maximum human dose based on body surface area) was found to have no effect on fertility and reproductive performance of male rats. However, in female rats, at oral doses of 60 mg/kg/day (360 mg/m²/day, 49 times the recommended maximum human dose based on body surface area) or higher, it disrupted implantation when administered in early pregnancy and retarded or blocked parturition when administered in late pregnancy.


Pregnancy Category C

Teratogenic Effects

Teratology studies have been performed in pregnant rats at oral doses up to 900 mg/kg/day (5,400 mg/m²/day, 730 times the recommended maximum human dose based on body surface area) and in pregnant rabbits at oral doses up to 20 mg/kg/day (240 mg/m²/day, 32 times the recommended maximum human dose based on body surface area) and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to anagrelide hydrochloride.

Nonteratogenic Effects

A fertility and reproductive performance study performed in female rats revealed that anagrelide hydrochloride at oral doses of 60 mg/kg/day (360 mg/m²/day, 49 times the recommended maximum human dose based on body surface area) or higher disrupted implantation and exerted adverse effect on embryo/fetal survival.

A perinatal and postnatal study performed in female rats revealed that anagrelide hydrochloride at oral doses of 60 mg/kg/day (360 mg/m²/day, 49 times the recommended maximum human dose based on body surface area) or higher produced delay or blockage of parturition, deaths of nondelivering pregnant dams and their fully developed fetuses, and increased mortality in the pups born.

There are however, no adequate and well controlled studies with anagrelide hydrochloride in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, anagrelide hydrochloride should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Nonclinical Toxicology

In the 2-year rat study, a significant increase in non-neoplastic lesions was observed in anagrelide treated males and females in the adrenal (medullary hyperplasia), heart (myocardial hypertrophy and chamber distension), kidney (hydronephrosis, tubular dilation and urothelial hyperplasia) and bone (femur enostosis). Vascular effects were observed in tissues of the pancreas (arteritis/periarteritis, intimal proliferation and medial hypertrophy), kidney (arteritis/periarteritis, intimal proliferation and medial hypertrophy), sciatic nerve (vascular mineralization), and testes (tubular atrophy and vascular infarct) in anagrelide treated males.

Five women became pregnant while on anagrelide treatment at doses of 1 to 4 mg/day. Treatment was stopped as soon as it was realized that they were pregnant. All delivered normal, healthy babies. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Anagrelide hydrochloride should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Anagrelide is not recommended in women who are or may become pregnant. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential harm to the fetus. Women of child-bearing potential should be instructed that they must not be pregnant and that they should use contraception while taking anagrelide. Anagrelide may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reaction in nursing infants from anagrelide hydrochloride, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Myeloproliferative disorders are uncommon in pediatric patients and limited data are available in this population. An open label safety and PK/PD study (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY) was conducted in 17 pediatric patients 7-14 years of age (8 patients 7-11 years of age and 9 patients 11-14 years of age, mean age of 11 years; 8 males and 9 females) with thrombocythemia secondary to ET as compared to 18 adult patients (mean age of 63 years, 9 males and 9 females). Prior to entry on to the study, 16 of 17 pediatric patients and 13 of 18 adult patients had received anagrelide treatment for an average of 2 years. The median starting total daily dose, determined by retrospective chart review, for pediatric and adult ET patients who had received anagrelide prior to study entry was 1mg for each of the three age groups (7-11 and 11-14 year old patients and adults). The starting dose for 6 anagrelide-naive patients at study entry was 0.5 mg once daily. At study completion, the median total daily maintenance doses were similar across age groups, median of 1.75 mg for patients of 7-11 years of age, 2 mg in patients 11-14 years of age, and 1.5 mg for adults.

The study evaluated the pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) profile of anagrelide, including platelet counts (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).

The frequency of adverse events observed in pediatric patients was similar to adult patients. The most common adverse events observed in pediatric patients were fever, epistaxis, headache, and fatigue during a 3-months treatment of anagrelide in the study. Adverse events that had been reported in these pediatric patients prior to the study and were considered to be related to anagrelide treatment based on retrospective review were palpitations, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, back pain, anorexia, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Episodes of increased pulse rate and decreased systolic or diastolic blood pressure beyond the normal ranges in the absence of clinical symptoms were observed in some patients. Reported AEs were consistent with the known pharmacological profile of anagrelide and the underlying disease. There were no apparent trends or differences in the types of adverse events observed between the pediatric patients compared with those of the adult patients. No overall difference in dosing and safety were observed between pediatric and adult patients.

In another open-label study, anagrelide had been used successfully in 12 pediatric patients (age range 6.8 to 17.4 years; 6 male and 6 female), including 8 patients with ET, 2 patients with CML, 1 patient with PV, and 1 patient with OMPD. Patients were started on therapy with 0.5 mg qid up to a maximum daily dose of 10 mg. The median duration of treatment was 18.1 months with a range of 3.1 to 92 months. Three patients received treatment for greater than three years. Other adverse events reported in spontaneous reports and literature reviews include anemia, cutaneous photosensitivity and elevated leukocyte count.

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of subjects in clinical studies of AGRYLIN®, 42.1% were 65 years and over, while 14.9% were 75 years and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in response between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/20/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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