Desferal

Indications
Dosage
How Supplied

INDICATIONS

Desferal is indicated for the treatment of acute iron intoxication and of chronic iron overload due to transfusion-dependent anemias.

Acute Iron Intoxication

Desferal is an adjunct to, and not a substitute for, standard measures used in treating acute iron intoxication, which may include the following: induction of emesis with syrup of ipecac; gastric lavage; suction and maintenance of a clear airway; control of shock with intravenous fluids, blood, oxygen, and vasopressors; and correction of acidosis.

Chronic Iron Overload

Desferal can promote iron excretion in patients with secondary iron overload from multiple transfusions (as may occur in the treatment of some chronic anemias, including thalassemia). Long-term therapy with Desferal slows accumulation of hepatic iron and retards or eliminates progression of hepatic fibrosis.

Iron mobilization with Desferal is relatively poor in patients under the age of 3 years with relatively little iron overload. The drug should ordinarily not be given to such patients unless significant iron mobilization (e.g., 1 mg or more of iron per day) can be demonstrated.

Desferal is not indicated for the treatment of primary hemochromatosis, since phlebotomy is the method of choice for removing excess iron in this disorder.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Acute Iron Intoxication

Intramuscular Administration

This route is preferred and should be used for ALL PATIENTS NOT IN SHOCK.

A dose of 1000 mg should be administered initially. This may be followed by 500 mg every 4 hours for two doses. Depending upon the clinical response, subsequent doses of 500 mg may be administered every 4-12 hours. The total amount administered should not exceed 6000 mg in 24 hours. For reconstitution instructions for intramuscular administration see Table 1.

Intravenous Administration

THIS ROUTE SHOULD BE USED ONLY FOR PATIENTS IN A STATE OF CARDIOVASCULAR COLLAPSE AND THEN ONLY BY SLOW INFUSION. THE RATE OF INFUSION SHOULD NOT EXCEED 15 MG/KG/HR FOR THE FIRST 1000 MG ADMINISTERED. SUBSEQUENT IV DOSING, IF NEEDED, MUST BE AT A SLOWER RATE, NOT TO EXCEED 125 MG/HR.

For reconstitution instructions for intravenous administration see Table 2. The reconstituted solution is added to physiologic saline, (e.g., 0.9% sodium chloride, 0.45% sodium chloride), glucose in water, or Ringer's lactate solution.

An initial dose of 1000 mg should be administered at a rate NOT TO EXCEED 15 mg/kg/hr. This may be followed by 500 mg over 4 hours for two doses. Depending upon the clinical response, subsequent doses of 500 mg may be administered over 4-12 hours. The total amount administered should not exceed 6000 mg in 24 hours.

As soon as the clinical condition of the patient permits, intravenous administration should be discontinued and the drug should be administered intramuscularly.

Chronic Iron Overload

Subcutaneous Administration

A daily dose of 1000-2000 mg (20-40 mg/kg/day) should be administered over 8-24 hours, utilizing a small portable pump capable of providing continuous mini-infusion. The duration of infusion must be individualized. In some patients, as much iron will be excreted after a short infusion of 8-12 hours as with the same dose given over 24 hours. For reconstitution instructions for subcutaneous administration see Table 3.

Intravenous Administration

The standard recommended method of Desferal administration is via slow subcutaneous infusion over 8 – 12 hours. In patients with intravenous access, the daily dose of Desferal can be administered intravenously. The standard dose is 20 – 40 mg/kg/day for children and 40–50 mg/kg/day over 8 – 12 hours in adults for 5 – 7 days per week. In children, average doses should not exceed 40 mg/kg/day until growth has ceased. In adults, average doses should not exceed 60 mg/kg/day. The intravenous infusion rate should not exceed 15 mg/kg/hour. For reconstitution instructions for intravenous administration see Table 2.

In patients who are poorly compliant, Desferal may be administered prior to or following same day blood transfusion (for example 1 gram over 4 hours on the day of transfusion); however, the contribution of this mode of administration to iron balance is limited. Desferal should not be administered concurrently with the blood transfusion as this can lead to errors in interpreting side effects such as rash, anaphylaxis and hypotension.

Intramuscular Administration

A daily dose of 500-1000 mg may be administered intramuscularly. The total daily dose should not exceed 1000 mg. For reconstitution instructions for intramuscular administration see Table 1.

Reconstitution and Preparation

Table 1: Preparation for Intramuscular Administration

RECONSTITUTE DESFERAL WITH STERILE WATER FOR INJECTION  
Vial Size Amount of Sterile Water for Injection Required for Reconstitution Total Drug Content after Reconstitution Final Concentration per mL after Reconstitution
500 mg 2 mL 500 mg/2.35 mL 213 mg/mL
2 grams 8 mL 2 grams/9.4 mL 213 mg/mL

Table 2: Preparation for Intravenous Administrations

RECONSTITUTE DESFERAL WITH STERILE WATER FOR INJECTION  
Vial Size Amount of Sterile Water for Injection Required for Reconstitution Total Drug Content after Reconstitution Final Concentration per mL after Reconstitution
500 mg 5 mL 500 mg/5.3 mL 95 mg/mL
2 grams 20 mL 2 grams/21.1 mL 95 mg/mL

Table 3: Preparation for Subcutaneous Administration

RECONSTITUTE DESFERAL WITH STERILE WATER FOR INJECTION  
Vial Size Amount of Sterile Water for Injection Required for Reconstitution Total Drug Content after Reconstitution Final Concentration per mL after Reconstitution
500 mg 5 mL 500 mg/5.3 mL 95 mg/mL
2 grams 20 mL 2 grams/21.1 mL 95 mg/mL

The reconstituted Desferal solution is an isotonic, clear and colorless to slightly- yellowish solution. The drug should be completely dissolved before the solution is withdrawn. Desferal reconstituted with Sterile Water for Injection IS FOR SINGLE USE ONLY. Discard unused portion.

The product should be used immediately after reconstitution (commencement of treatment within 3 hours) for microbiological safety. When reconstitution is carried out under validated aseptic conditions (in a sterile laminar flow hood using aseptic technique), the product may be stored at room temperature for a maximum period of 24 hours before use. Do not refrigerate reconstituted solution. Reconstituting Desferal in solvents or under conditions other than indicated may result in precipitation. Turbid solutions should not be used.

HOW SUPPLIED

Vials - each containing 500 mg of sterile, lyophilized deferoxamine mesylate

Cartons of 4 vials……………………………………………NDC 0078-0467-91

Vials - each containing 2 g of sterile, lyophilized deferoxamine mesylate

Cartons of 4 vials……………………………………………NDC 0078-0347-51

Do not store above 25°C (77°F).

Revised: December 2011. Manufactured by: Novartis Pharma Stein AG Stein, Switzerland. Distributed by: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, New Jersey 07936

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/5/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Indications
Dosage
How Supplied
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