For people on dialysis with anemia due to CKD

What are the Benefits and Risks of EPOGEN®?

EPOGEN® decreases the need for transfusions.

EPOGEN® increases hemoglobin (Hb) levels and decreases the need for blood transfusions. Your doctor will determine the appropriate Hb level for you to reduce the need for blood transfusions.

  • EPOGEN® should not be used in place of emergency red blood cell transfusions to treat anemia.

Transfusions are sometimes necessary because they can quickly increase red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body.

  • Transfusions may also have risks, such as different types of reactions and infections.
  • Talk with your doctor about any questions you have about transfusions.

EPOGEN® may improve your exercise tolerance and allow you to function better physically.

In a clinical study, patients on hemodialysis with anemia showed improvement in exercise tolerance and in patient-reported physical functioning after taking EPOGEN® for 2 months.

Patients showed improvement in the number of minutes walked on a treadmill. During the test, the treadmill increased in speed and steepness the longer the patient walked.

Other Potential Benefits

Patient-reported improvements in overall physical function included:

  • Getting around
  • Walking
  • Movements needed to take care of oneself

EPOGEN® has not been shown to improve quality of life, fatigue, or patient well-being.

Risk Information for EPOGEN®

You may get serious heart problems such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and may die sooner if you are treated with EPOGEN® to reach a normal or near-normal Hb level. If your Hb level stays too high or goes up too quickly, this may also lead to these serious problems. These problems may happen even if you take EPOGEN® and do not have an increase in your Hb level.

  • Your healthcare provider should prescribe the smallest dose of EPOGEN® needed to reduce your chance of getting red blood cell transfusions.
  • Common side effects of EPOGEN® include:
    Joint, muscle, or bone pain
    Fever
    Cough
    Rash
    Nausea
    Vomiting
    Soreness of mouth
    Itching
    Headache
    Redness and pain in the skin where EPOGEN® shots were given
  • EPOGEN® may not be right for everyone. Please read the Important Safety Information for more information on possible side effects.