Pharm 101: Erythropoietin


Haematopoietic growth factor

  • Glycoprotein produced primarily by kidney
  • Production:
    • Interstitial cells in peritubular capillary bed of kidney (85%)
    • Perivenous hepatocytes in liver (15%)
    • Also brain, uterus, oviducts
  • Causes:
    • Proliferation and differentiation of RBC precursors
    • Release of reticulocytes from bone marrow
  • Takes 2-3 days for effects to take place
  • Half-life 4-13 hours after IV administration in chronic renal failure
Clinical uses
  • Anaemia secondary to chronic kidney disease
  • Reduce need for RBC transfusion in patients with marrow failure states:
    • Aplastic anaemia
    • Myeloproliferative disroders
    • AIDS
Adverse effects
  • Toxicity is mainly related to rapid Hb rise:
    • Hypertension
    • Thrombosis
  • Allergic reactions are infrequent and mild
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MBBS CCPU (RCE, Biliary, DVT, E-FAST, AAA) Rob is an Emergency Medicine Advanced Trainee based in Melbourne, Australia. He has special interests in medical education, ECG interpretation, and the use of diagnostic and procedural ultrasound in the undifferentiated and unwell patient.

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