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What Is PROCRIT®?

PROCRIT® is part of a category of medicines called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). It is used for the treatment of anemia in patients with certain types of cancer who are receiving chemotherapy. Its use is based on studies that have shown a reduced need for blood transfusion with PROCRIT® while receiving chemotherapy for at least 2 months. ESAs are not the only treatments for anemia caused by chemotherapy. Other treatments include iron and blood transfusions.

PROCRIT® is a man-made form of erythropoietin that causes your bone marrow to make more red blood cells. This, in turn, raises your hemoglobin level and may reduce the need for a blood transfusion. The rise in hemoglobin is not immediate. It usually takes 2 to 6 weeks before the number of red blood cells increases in your body. Individual results with PROCRIT® may vary.

There are many different types of side effects that can occur with PROCRIT®. Using PROCRIT® can lead to death or other serious side effects:
  • Your tumor may grow faster or you may die sooner.
  • You may get serious heart problems, such as heart attack, stroke, or heart failure, and may die sooner if you are treated with PROCRIT® to reach a normal or near-normal hemoglobin level.
  • You may get blood clots at any time while taking PROCRIT®. If you are going to have surgery, talk to your doctor about whether you need to take a blood thinner to lessen the chance of blood clots during or following surgery. Clots can form in blood vessels (veins), especially in your leg (deep venous thrombosis). Pieces of a blood clot may travel to the lungs and block the blood circulation in the lungs (pulmonary embolus)
Other side effects of PROCRIT®, which may also be serious, include high blood pressure, seizures, antibodies to PROCRIT®, and serious allergic reactions. Common side effects you may experience are rash; joint, muscle, or bone pain; fever; and injection site reactions including irritation and pain.

These are not all the possible side effects of PROCRIT®. Your doctor can give you a more complete list. If you are currently taking or considering taking PROCRIT®, you and your doctor should evaluate all risks and benefits associated with this drug. Be sure to read the Medication Guide for PROCRIT® and discuss any questions you have with your doctor. Only you and your doctor can decide if PROCRIT® is right for you.

PROCRIT® is available by prescription only and is administered as a shot (injection).