Anagrelide : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?

Anagrelide is used to reduce the number of platelets (a type of blood cell necessary to control bleeding) in the blood of patients who have a bone marrow disorder, in which the body makes too many types of blood cells of one or more types. . such as essential thrombocythemia (condition in which the body makes too many platelets) or polycythemia vera (condition in which the body produces too many red blood cells and sometimes too many platelets). Anagrelide is in a class of medications called platelet-lowering agents. It works by slowing the production of platelets in the body.

How should this medicine be used?

Anagrelide comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food two to four times a day. Take anagrelide at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take anagrelide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor will probably prescribe a low dose of anagrelide and increase it gradually, no more than once a week. Your doctor may change your dose during your treatment based on your body’s response to the medicine. Follow these instructions carefully.

Anagrelide can help control your condition, but it will not cure it. Keep taking anagrelide even if you feel fine. Do not stop taking anagrelide without consulting your doctor. If you stop taking anagrelide suddenly, the number of platelets in your blood will increase and you may experience symptoms.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking anagrelide,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to anagrelide or any other medications.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: atazanavir (Reyataz); cilostazol (Pletal); cimetidine (Tagamet); clozapine (Clozaril); cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril); fluoroquinolone antibiotics including ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gatifloxacin (Tequin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), others; fluvoxamine (Luvox); imipramine (Tofranil); inamrinone; mexiletine (Mexitil); milrinone (Primacor); naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, in Prevacid NapraPAC); riluzole (Rilutek); sucralfate (Carafate); tacrine (Cognex);theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, Theolair, others); and ticlopidine (Ticlid). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had bleeding problems; high or low blood pressure; lactose intolerance (inability to digest dairy products) or heart, kidney, or liver disease.
  • Do not take anagrelide if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.You should use an effective form of birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment with anagrelide. Talk to your doctor about types of birth control that are right for you. If you become pregnant while taking anagrelide, call your doctor immediately. Do not breast-feed while you are taking anagrelide.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking anagrelide.
  • You should know that anagrelide may make you dizzy, especially when you first start taking the medication. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • You should know that anagrelide may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking anagrelide. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
  • Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Anagrelide may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medication.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Anagrelide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • headache
  • gas
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • stomach pain
  • heartburn
  • belching
  • loss of appetite
  • runny nose
  • nosebleed
  • sore throat
  • mouth sores
  • dizziness
  • depression
  • nervousness
  • forgetfulness
  • confusion
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • lack of energy or sleepiness
  • weakness
  • muscle, joint or back pain
  • leg cramps
  • hair loss
  • fever
  • flu-like symptoms
  • painful urination
  • ringing in the ears
  • itching

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • rash
  • hives
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • blood in urine or stool
  • black or tarry stools
  • chest pain
  • fluttering sensation in the chest
  • fast, forceful, or irregular heartbeats
  • swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles or lower legs
  • difficulty breathing
  • cough
  • slow or difficult speech
  • fainting
  • weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
  • pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • seizure
  • changes in vision

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from light or excess heat and humidity (not in the bathroom).

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure they cannot be consumed by pets, children, and others. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. Check out the FDA drug safe disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or is unable to wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to check your body’s response to anagrelide.

Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names

  • Agrylin®

Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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