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

Pharmacology 101

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MBBS (UWA) CCPU (RCE, Biliary, DVT, E-FAST, AAA) Adult/Paediatric Emergency Medicine Advanced Trainee in Melbourne, Australia. Special interests in diagnostic and procedural ultrasound, medical education, and ECG interpretation. Editor-in-chief of the LITFL ECG Library. Twitter: @rob_buttner

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