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Safety of oral iron chelator deferiprone in young thalassaemics

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Naithani R, Chandra J, Sharma S. Safety of oral iron chelator deferiprone in young thalassaemics.

Eur J Haematol 2005: 74: 217–220. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2005. Abstract: 

Deferiprone is now widely used for iron chelation in patients with thalassaemia. Studies on its efficacy and safety have largely included older children and adults. Objective: To assess the safety of deferiprone in children <6 yr of age. Methods: The study is based on scrutiny of follow-up data of 44 patients of age <6 yr receiving deferiprone for a variable period of time. Occurrence of various side effects including gastrointestinal, osteoarticular were noticed and complete blood counts were performed every 2–4 wk. Results: Nausea and vomiting were noticed in 12 (27.2%), joint symptoms were reported by four (9.1%) and neutropenia was observed in only two patients (4.5%). None of the patient had agranulocytosis. Thrombocytopenia was observed in 20 patients (45.45%), which occurred 3 months to 1 yr after deferiprone therapy. Interruption of deferiprone for 2–4 wk led to reversal of symptoms in all but two patients. Conclusion: Thrombocytopenia is one of the major side effects in young thalassaemics and necessitates frequent close monitoring of blood counts but its resolution after discontinuation and absence of clinical evidence of bleeding does not preclude its use.
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Keywords: children; deferiprone; iron chelation; thalassaemia

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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