Desferal

Desferal Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Desferal (deferoxamine mesylate) is used to treat iron overload caused by blood transfusions in adults and children at least 3 years old. It is an iron-chelating agent. This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include pain and swelling at the injection site or blurred vision.

The preferred administration of Desferal is intramuscularly (IM) but it may also be administered intravenously (IV). The initial dose of Desferal is 1000 mg. 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. Desferal may interact with prochlorperazine (Compazine) or a vitamin C supplement. Other drugs may affect Desferal. Tell your doctor all the prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Desferal should be used only when prescribed. It is unknown whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Our Desferal (deferoxamine mesylate) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Desferal in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; joint or muscle pain; fever; headache; nausea or vomiting; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using deferoxamine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • cough, wheezing, gasping, or other breathing problems;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • drowsiness, confusion, mood changes, increased thirst, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting;
  • swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • hearing problems;
  • blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • fast heartbeats;
  • blue lips, skin, or fingernails;
  • severe, watery, bloody diarrhea with cramping;
  • stuffy nose, fever, redness or swelling around your nose and eyes, scabbing inside your nose;
  • stomach or back pain, coughing up blood;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness; or
  • leg cramps, bone problems, or growth changes (in a child using this medication).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, ringing in your ears;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • mild itching or skin rash;
  • numbness or burning pain anywhere in the body;
  • mild diarrhea, nausea, or upset stomach;
  • reddish colored urine; or
  • pain, burning, swelling, redness, irritation, or a hard lump where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Desferal (Deferoxamine) »

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

Desferal Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: Pain and swelling at the injection site or blurred vision may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

This medicine may cause your urine to turn reddish. This effect is harmless.

When this medication is given into a vein, flushing, severe itching, severe dizziness, fast heartbeat, and fainting can occur. Therefore the manufacturer recommends that, when possible, this medication be given either in the muscle or under the skin.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: other vision changes (such as vision loss, loss of color vision, cataracts), eye pain, hearing changes (such as ringing ears, decreased hearing/loss).

Rarely, this drug may cause serious (sometimes fatal) bacterial or fungal infections. Get medical help right away if you notice any of the following: unexplained diarrhea/abdominal pain/fever.

This drug may infrequently cause a serious (rarely fatal) lung condition (acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS). Get medical help right away if you notice any of the following: sudden/severe shortness of breath, labored or rapid breathing, severe dizziness.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Desferal (Deferoxamine)»

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Desferal FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)

SIDE EFFECTS

The following adverse reactions have been observed, but there are not enough data to support an estimate of their frequency.

At the Injection Site: Localized irritation, pain, burning, swelling, induration, infiltration, pruritus, erythema, wheal formation, eschar, crust, vesicles, local edema. Injection site reactions may be associated with systemic allergic reactions (see Body as a Whole, below).

Hypersensitivity Reactions and Systemic Allergic Reactions: Generalized rash, urticaria, anaphylactic reaction with or without shock, angioedema.

Body as a Whole: Local injection site reactions may be accompanied by systemic reactions like arthralgia, fever, headache, myalgia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or asthma.

Infections with Yersinia and Mucormycosis have been reported in association with Desferal use (see PRECAUTIONS).

Cardiovascular: Tachycardia, hypotension, shock.

Digestive: Abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting.

Hematologic: Blood dyscrasia (thrombocytopenia, leucopenia).

Hepatic: Increased transaminases, hepatic dysfunction.

Musculoskeletal: Muscle spasms. Growth retardation and bone changes (e.g., metaphyseal dysplasia) are common in chelated patients given doses above 60 mg/kg, especially those who begin iron chelation in the first three years of life. If doses are kept to 40 mg/kg or below, the risk may be reduced (see WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS/Pediatric Use).

Nervous System: Neurological disturbances including dizziness, peripheral sensory, motor, or mixed neuropathy, paresthesias, seizures; exacerbation or precipitation of aluminum-related dialysis encephalopathy (see PATIENT INFORMATION).

Special Senses: High-frequency sensorineural hearing loss and/or tinnitus are uncommon if dosage guidelines are not exceeded and if dose is reduced when ferritin levels decline. Visual disturbances are rare if dosage guidelines are not exceeded. These may include decreased acuity, blurred vision, loss of vision, dyschromatopsia, night blindness, visual field defects, scotoma, retinopathy (pigmentary degeneration), optic neuritis, and cataracts (see WARNINGS).

Respiratory: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (with dyspnea, cyanosis, and/or interstitial infiltrates) (see WARNINGS).

Skin: Very rare generalized rash.

Urogenital: Dysuria, acute renal failure, increased serum creatinine and renal tubular disorders (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS).

Postmarketing Reports

There are postmarketing reports of deferoxamine-associated renal dysfunction, including renal failure. Monitor patients for changes in renal function (e.g., increased serum creatinine).

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Desferal (Deferoxamine) »

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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