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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strengthening an existing warning that serious, potentially fatal allergic reactions can occur with the anemia drug Feraheme (ferumoxytol). We have changed the prescribing instructions and approved a Boxed Warning, FDA’s strongest type of warning, regarding these serious risks. Also added is a new Contraindication, a strong recommendation against use of Feraheme in patients who have had an allergic reaction to any intravenous (IV) iron replacement product. Health care professionals should follow the new recommendations in the drug label. Patients should immediately alert their health care professional or seek emergency care if they develop breathing problems, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, dizziness, swelling, a rash, or itching during or after Feraheme administration.
Feraheme is in a class of medicines called IV iron replacement products. It is used to treat iron-deficiency anemia―a condition in which there is a lower than normal number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells because of too little iron. People with anemia may feel tired or weak, and if left untreated, anemia can damage the heart, brain, and other organs. Feraheme is specifically approved for use only in adults with iron deficiency anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease. It is given as an IV infusion by health care professionals in a hospital, outpatient clinic, or medical office. Like other IV iron products, Feraheme may only be given where emergency personnel and equipment are immediately available to treat the potentially life-threatening allergic reactions that can occur with treatment.
All IV iron products carry a risk of potentially life-threatening allergic reactions. At the time of Feraheme’s approval in 2009, this risk was described in the Warnings and Precautions section of the drug label. Since then, serious reactions, including deaths, have occurred despite the proper use of therapies to treat these reactions and emergency resuscitation measures (see Data Summary). We have evaluated this risk further and have identified ways to reduce the risk of serious allergic reactions with Feraheme.
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