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What is Exjade?
Exjade is a brand-name medicine that requires a doctor’s prescription. Its generic name is Deferasirox. It belongs to a class of medications called iron chelators or iron chelating agents. Exjade contains the active ingredient deferasirox which works by attaching to iron in the blood and promotes excretion of extra iron from the body through bowel movement (passing out of stools). This will avoid damaging the organs like the liver and heart caused by chronic excessive iron levels in the body.
What is Exjade used for?
Exjade is prescribed to treat people who have chronic iron overload (more than enough iron in the body for a long time) in the following age groups and conditions:
- Patients aged 6 years old and above who have beta-thalassemia major (an inherited blood disorder) receive frequent blood transfusions.
- Children aged 2 to 5 years old with a beta-thalassemia major receive frequent blood transfusions and for whom deferoxamine therapy is not adequate or not recommended.
- In adults and children as young as 2 years old who have beta-thalassemia major and do not obtain regular blood transfusions (non-transfusion dependent thalassemia syndrome), and whom deferoxamine therapy is not adequate or not recommended.
- In adults and pediatric patients aged 2 years old who have other anemias.
- Patients aged 10 years old and above who have beta-thalassemia major and do not obtain regular blood transfusions (non-transfusion dependent thalassemia syndrome), and need chelation therapy when deferoxamine therapy is not adequate or not recommended.
It is advisable to start treatment using Exjade when proof from a patient’s clinical monitoring data shows chronic iron overload. The proofs are transfusion of about 20 units of packed red blood cells (RBC) or around 100ml/kg of packed RBCs, and a serum ferritin level of consistently more than 1000mcg/L. Calculate and round off the dose (in mg/kg) to the nearest whole tablet size.
The recommended starting dose of Exjade tablet (for suspension) for adults and children aged 2 years and above who have chronic iron overload after receiving blood transfusions is 20 mg/kg of body weight per day. The dose may be adjusted by your physician if necessary. The recommended maximum dose is 40 mg/kg per day.
The recommended starting dose of Exjade tablet (for suspension) for adults and children aged 10 years and above who are non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia syndrome is 10 mg/kg of body weight per day. The dose may be adjusted by your physician if necessary. The recommended maximum dose is 20 mg/kg per day.
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Exjade 500 mg
This is one of the available strengths of Exjade tablets for oral suspension. The other available strengths are 125 mg and 250 mg tablets.
Exjade side effects
Like most medications, Exjade may cause some unwanted effects along with its needed effects. Some side effects may go away after the body has the ability to adjust to the medicine. However, some side effects may need immediate medical help.
Taking Exjade may cause some rare serious side effects. Call your health care provider at once or seek immediate medical help if you experience any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Redness and itching, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing signal a serious allergic reaction to this drug.
- Changes in your urine output and frothy urine are signs of kidney problems.
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), drowsiness, constant nausea and vomiting, upper right stomach pain, and dark colored urine, signal a liver problem.
- Vomited blood or vomit that looks like coffee ground, black stools, and frequent stomach pain signals gastrointestinal problems.
Taking this drug may also lead to bone marrow suppression that leads to a decrease in the number of red blood cells (worsened anemia), white cells (neutropenia), platelets (thrombocytopenia), or all kinds of blood cells (pancytopenia). Due to this effect, the body may easily acquire infections and experience easy bleeding or bruising. Contact your health care provider right away if you experience any of these doubtful symptoms: chills, fever and persistent sore throat (signs of infection), skin that is pale, and tiredness that is unusual.
Exjade use may also cause some common serious side effects. If any of the following occurs, inform your physician right away.
- Changes in vision (cloudy or blurry vision)
- Hearing problem (hearing loss)
Here are the common side effects of using Exjade. Contact your health care provider if they continue and worsen.
- Dizziness and headache
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, and stomach pain
Exjade vs Jadenu
These drugs have the same generic name and active ingredient which is deferasirox. They are both iron chelating agents that are used to treat patients who are 2 years old and above having excessive iron in the body for a long time caused by frequent blood transfusions, and patients who are at least 10 years old having excessive iron in the body for a long time in non-transfusion dependent thalassemia syndrome.
Exjade was released before Jadenu. Jadenu is the new formulation and both are in tablet form.
Jadenu is more palatable and can be taken easily, just in a single step, with or without food compared with Exjade.
However, some studies showed that the use of Jadenu is associated with a slight decrease in LIC and serum ferritin levels. Thus, additional research is required to further assess the efficacy of Jadenu over a long period of time.
The information above is provided by third parties to Prescriptionpoint.com for Exjade (Deferasirox). This information is for general purposes only and is not intended to replace a physician's advice. Always consult with your doctor or a qualified health care professional if you need advice on any medical concerns.