Epogen Side Effects. On November 30, 2006, reports came out that two studies in this months New England Journal of Medicine have called into question the overuse of drugs in the treatment of anemia in kidney patients.
Amgen’s Epogen and Johnson and Johnson’s Procrit, are the two most common anemia drugs which are at the center of the controversy, as researchers try to determine whether they’ve been over-prescribed by medical professionals.
Sales of anemia drugs are nearing $10 billion annually. Epogen (Generic: Epoetin alfa) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 26, 1999.
According to the above studies, Scientists established that anemic kidney patients are susceptible to heart problems or death when aggressively treated with Epogen or other anemia drugs.
The drugs are intended to boost hemoglobin in anemic patients
The drugs are intended to boost hemoglobin in anemic patients, but the increase in hemoglobin is apparently associated with other serious risks.
Prior to the arrival of these anemia treatments, patients had to undergo transfusions to keep their red blood cell counts at healthy levels. The new drugs have been very successful in boosting red blood cell counts, but the fear today is that doctors have become too reliant on the drugs and that they are not sufficiently aware of the risks related to boosting hemoglobin (a main component of red blood cells) in kidney patients, which can include heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
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