Anagrelide is used to treat a certain blood disorder (thrombocythemia), which is caused by your bone marrow making too many platelets. Platelets are a blood cell that the body uses to form blood clots. Too many platelets can cause problems with your circulation, including unwanted blood clots and bleeding problems. This drug reduces the number of platelets in the bloodstream by blocking their production.
This medicine may come with a Patient Information Leaflet. Read it carefully if available. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about this medicine.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 2 or 4 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Children or people with liver problems may start out by taking only 1 dose each day. Your doctor will adjust your dose, usually once a week, to find the best dose for you that keeps your blood counts closer to normal. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. You should not take more than 2.5 milligrams in a single dose or more than a total of 10 milligrams in a day.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. People with high platelets may not feel sick. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Stopping anagrelide will cause your platelets to go back up.
Your doctor will check your blood counts regularly to monitor your progress and adjust your dose.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
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: unusual bleeding/bruising, black stools, swelling of the ankles/feet, rapid/difficult breathing, stomach/abdominal pain, unusual tiredness, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine, pink/bloody urine), vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion/mental changes, severe dizziness, fainting, fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat, seizures, slurred speech, vision changes, weakness on one side of the body.
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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking anagrelide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart problems (e.g., heart attack, irregular heartbeat), lung problems, kidney problems, liver problems.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Anagrelide may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using anagrelide, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using anagrelide safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, "blood thinners" such as warfarin/enoxaparin), sucralfate.
Only take aspirin if your doctor approves of it. Aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding when used with anagrelide, especially if you already have a high risk for bleeding. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin to prevent blood clots, or for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.
Many drugs besides anagrelide may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, chloroquine, clarithromycin, disopyramide, haloperidol, methadone, moxifloxacin, pimozide, procainamide, among others.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: unusual bleeding/bruising, fast heartbeat, vomiting.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as heart exam, EKG, complete blood counts, kidney and liver function tests) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised May 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
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