November 25, 2015
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Side Effects


The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

Clinical Trials Experience

The data described below reflect exposure to Mircera in 2737 patients, including 1451 exposed for 6 months and 1144 exposed for greater than one year. Mircera was studied primarily in active-controlled studies (n=1789 received Mircera, and n=948 received another ESA) and in long-term follow up studies. The population was 18 to 92 years of age, 58% male, and the percentage of Caucasian, Black (including African Americans), Asian and Hispanic patients were 73%, 20%, 5%, and 9%, respectively. Approximately 85% of the patients were receiving dialysis. Most patients received Mircera using dosing regimens of once every two or four weeks, administered SC or IV.

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of Mircera cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of other drugs and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The most commonly reported adverse reactions in ≥ 10% of patients were hypertension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], diarrhea, and nasopharyngitis. The most common adverse reactions that led to treatment discontinuation in the Mircera clinical studies were: hypertension, coronary artery disease, anemia, concomitant termination of other CKD therapy and septic shock. Some of the adverse reactions reported are typically associated with CKD, or recognized complications of dialysis, and may not necessarily be attributable to Mircera therapy. Adverse reaction rates did not importantly differ between patients receiving Mircera or another ESA.

Table 4 summarizes the most frequent adverse reactions ( ≥ 5%) in patients treated with Mircera.

Table 4 : Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥ 5% of CKD Patients

Adverse Reaction Patients Treated with Mircera
  Hypertension 13%
  Hypotension 5%
  Diarrhea 11%
  Vomiting 6%
  Constipation 5%
  Nasopharyngitis 11%
  Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 9%
  Urinary Tract Infection 5%
  Headache 9%
  Muscle Spasms 8%
  Back Pain 6%
  Pain in Extremity 5%
  Procedural Hypotension 8%
  Arteriovenous Fistula Thrombosis 5%
  Arteriovenous Fistula Site Complication 5%
  Fluid Overload 7%
  Cough 6%

In the controlled trials, the rates of serious adverse reactions did not importantly differ between patients receiving Mircera and another ESA (38% vs. 42%) except for the occurrence of serious gastrointestinal hemorrhage (1.2% vs. 0.2%). Serious hemorrhagic adverse reactions of all types occurred among 5% and 4% of patients receiving Mircera or another ESA, respectively.


As with all therapeutic proteins, there is a potential for immunogenicity. Neutralizing antibodies to Mircera that cross-react with endogenous erythropoietin and other ESAs can result in PRCA or severe anemia (with or without other cytopenias) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Compared to SC administration, the IV route of administration may lessen the risk for development of antibodies to Mircera.

In 1789 patients treated with Mircera in clinical studies, antibody testing using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was conducted at baseline and during treatment. Antibody development was not detected in any of the patients.

The incidence of antibody formation is highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Additionally, the observed incidence of antibody (including neutralizing antibody) positivity in an assay may be influenced by several factors including assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to Mircera with the incidence of antibodies to other ESAs may be misleading.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of Mircera. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.


Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis has been reported [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Pure Red Cell Aplasia (PRCA)

Cases of PRCA and of severe anemia, with or without other cytopenias that arise following the development of neutralizing antibodies to erythropoietin have been reported in patients treated with Mircera [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Read the Mircera (methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


No formal drug/drug interaction studies have been performed.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/3/2015

Side Effects

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