Epoetin Alfa is a man-made, injectable drug for treating anemia. Erythropoietin is a protein that normally is made in the body by the kidney. It causes the bone marrow to produce oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Under normal conditions, when the body senses a decrease in red blood cells or a deficiency in the supply of oxygen, more erythropoietin is produced, and this increases the number of red blood cells.
Epoetin Alfa is used to treat anemia that is associated with chronic kidney failure in patients who are or will be receiving renal dialysis. It also is used to treat anemia in patients with HIV infection who are receiving zidovudine (Retrovir) and in patients with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy and develop anemia. Epoetin alfa may be used to replace transfusions of red blood cells in patients who are anemic and undergoing surgery. Epoetin alfa has not been shown to improve fatigue or quality of life in patients with cancer.
Storage: Epoetin alfa should be stored at 2-8 C (36-46 F). It should not be frozen. Multiple-use vials should be used within 21 days of the first use.