Erythropoietin (cont.)

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What are the clinical uses of erythropoietin (EPO)?

Erythropoietin [epoetin alfa (Epogen, Procrit)] is used in many clinical settings. The most common use is in people with anemia (low blood count) related to kidney dysfunction. When the kidneys are not properly functioning, they produce less than normal amounts of erythropoietin, which can lead to low red blood cell production, or anemia. Therefore, by replacing the erythropoietin with an injection of synthetic erythropoietin, anemia related to kidney disease may be treated. Currently, Epogen or Procrit is a standard part of therapy in patients with kidney disease who require dialysis to both treat and prevent anemia.

Other uses of erythropoietin may include treatment of anemia related to the medication AZT (used to treat AIDS) and anemia associated with cancer.

Rambod Rouhbakhsh, M.D., MBA, FAAFP; American Board of Family Medicine

REFERENCE:

"Chapter 6J: Erythropoietin"
uptodate.com


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/31/2014