What is Desferal
Desferal contains the active substance deferoxamine mesylate. Desferal belongs to a group of medicines called metal chelators. They are used to remove accumulated iron or aluminum from the body.
What is Desferal used for?
Patients suffering from certain types of anemia, such as thalassemia, may require multiple blood transfusions. However, repeated blood transfusions can lead to the accumulation of excess iron. This is because the blood contains iron, and the body cannot naturally remove the excess iron that builds up through blood transfusions. Over time, excess iron can damage important organs such as the liver and heart. Desferal removes excess iron and, therefore, can be used to treat chronic iron accumulation. Desferal can be used to treat adults, adolescents and children.
Desferal can be used to treat:
acute iron poisoning;
chronic aluminum overload in patients with severe kidney disease undergoing maintenance dialysis. Under certain conditions, dialysis can lead to increased accumulation of aluminum;
test to determine the accumulation of iron or aluminum in the body.
How Desferal works
Desferal binds and removes iron or aluminum, which is then excreted in urine and faeces.
If you have any further questions on the use of Desferal or why it has been prescribed, please ask your doctor.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations carefully. Do not exceed the recommended dose.
The dosage and duration of treatment are determined by the attending physician. Depending on your response to treatment, your doctor may suggest a higher or lower dose.
Desferal is intended for use as an aqueous solution for injection. Reconstitute Desferal powder for solution for injection with “water for injections” given by your doctor. At the recommended concentration of 95 mg / ml (for subcutaneous injection) the reconstituted solution is colorless to pale yellow. The solution should be clear. Do not use opaque or turbid solutions.
Treatment of chronic iron overload
Your doctor will adjust the dosage according to your condition. The optimal dosage in most patients is between 20 and 60 mg per kg body weight. Desferal can be administered as a slow subcutaneous infusion via an infusion pump, as an intramuscular injection, or as an intravenous infusion.
Your doctor or nurse can prepare the injection for you or teach you how to prepare it yourself. Slow subcutaneous administration of Desferal with a portable light infusion pump (eg for 8-12 hours at night) is particularly suitable in patients with chronic iron overload requiring long-term treatment. Desferal is usually pumped 5 to 7 times a week. The pump must be installed carefully and in conditions of exceptional cleanliness.
Follow the instructions below to prepare the infusion solution and inject it under the skin (see illustrations):
1. Withdraw the water for injection into a syringe.
2. After cleaning the rubber stopper of the Desferal vial with alcohol, inject the contents of the syringe into the vial.
3. Shake the vial well to dissolve the powder.
4. Withdraw the resulting solution into the syringe.
5. Connect the syringe to the extension and attach a butterfly injection needle to it. Then fill the extension with the syringe solution.
6. Insert the syringe into the infusion pump.
7. For the infusion, you can insert the butterfly injection needle under the skin of the abdomen, arm, upper leg or thigh it.
The skin must first be cleansed very well with alcohol before inserting the whole needle into a skin fold that you shape with your free hand. The tip of the needle should move freely when shaking the needle. If it does not move freely, it means that it is too close to the skin. Try again elsewhere after cleaning with alcohol.
8. Fix the needle and seal it with adhesive tape.
9. Patients usually wear the pump on a belt or over their shoulder. Most patients prefer to use the pump at night for convenience.
Concomitant use with vitamin C.
After taking Desferal for at least one month, your doctor may prescribe you to take vitamin C at the same time as Desferal. The maximum daily dose of vitamin C in adults is 200 mg, divided into several doses. In children under 10 years of age, 50 mg of vitamin C per day is usually sufficient, and in older children this dose is 100 mg / day.