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Frequently Asked Questions
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Whether you are curious about PROMACTA® (eltrombopag) as a treatment for low platelets due to persistent or chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) or about ITP in general, here is a quick guide with answers to common questions so you can take an active role in discussions with your doctor.
You can also watch the video below, featuring practicing hematologist Dr Morey A Blinder, professor of medicine, division of hematology, at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. Here, Dr Blinder discusses topics such as: What persistent or chronic ITP is, what PROMACTA is, how PROMACTA works, what dietary considerations are associated with PROMACTA, and how you should take PROMACTA.
Immune thrombocytopenia, or ITP, is a rare blood condition. People with ITP do not have enough platelets in their blood. A low number of platelets can lead to easy bruising and bleeding.
ITP is considered persistent when lasting 3-12 months after diagnosis and chronic if lasting more than 12 months.
To learn more about persistent or chronic ITP, go here.
- PROMACTA is the only oral prescription medicine used to treat adults and children 1 year of age and older with low blood platelet counts due to persistent or chronic ITP when other medicines to treat ITP or surgery to remove the spleen have not worked well enough
- PROMACTA is used to try to raise platelet counts in order to lower your risk of bleeding. PROMACTA is not used to make platelet counts normal
- PROMACTA is not for use in people with a precancerous condition called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or in people with low platelet counts caused by certain other medical conditions or diseases
To learn more about PROMACTA, go here.
- PROMACTA is the only platelet booster that comes in a tablet or an oral suspension you can take once a day
- PROMACTA is a once-daily oral therapy that doesn’t suppress your immune system. It works differently than some other medicines for ITP
- PROMACTA may boost your platelet counts and keep them at stable levels. It is not used to make your platelet counts normal. When the body is making more platelets, your ITP symptoms—like bleeding and bruising—may improve as a result
- In a clinical trial of 302 adults, PROMACTA demonstrated the longest results ever reported in persistent or chronic ITP
Click here to learn more about how PROMACTA may help.
PROMACTA is meant to be taken by people who:
- are 1 year and older, AND
- have persistent or chronic ITP (lasting >3 months), AND
- for whom an initial ITP treatment, such as a steroid or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), or surgery to remove the spleen has not worked well enough. PROMACTA is not for use in people with a precancerous condition called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or in people with low platelet counts caused by certain other medical conditions or diseases
- PROMACTA should be used only in people with ITP whose degree of thrombocytopenia and clinical condition increase the risk for bleeding
Curious if PROMACTA is right for you? Learn helpful tips on how to talk about your treatment options with your doctor so you can take a more active role in treatment discussions and decisions.
PROMACTA can cause serious side effects, including:
- If you have chronic hepatitis C virus and take PROMACTA with interferon and ribavirin treatment, PROMACTA may increase your risk of liver problems. If your health care provider tells you to stop your treatment with interferon and ribavirin, you will also need to stop taking PROMACTA
- PROMACTA may increase your risk of liver problems that may be severe and possibly life-threatening. Your health care provider will do blood tests to check your liver function before you start taking PROMACTA and during your treatment. Your health care provider may stop your treatment with PROMACTA if you have changes in your liver function blood tests
Tell your health care provider right away if you have any of these signs and symptoms of liver problems:
- yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- unusual darkening of the urine
- unusual tiredness
- right upper stomach area (abdomen) pain
- swelling of the stomach area (abdomen)
The most common side effects of PROMACTA in adults with persistent or chronic ITP are:
- low red blood cell count (anemia)
- abnormal liver function tests
To learn more about side effects, go here.
PROMACTA is a prescription medication, so you will have to work with your doctor to see if it is the right treatment for you.
Click here for tips on how to take a more active role when talking to your doctor about your treatment options.
Questions about cost? Click here to learn about the PROMACTA Co-pay Card and other financial assistance.
Here are 3 important things to know:
- PROMACTA can be taken without a meal or with a meal low in calcium (≤50 mg).
- PROMACTA should be taken 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking medications like antacids, mineral supplements, or foods that are high in calcium, such as dairy products, calcium-fortified juices, and certain fruits and vegetables.
- Weekly doctor visits aren’t required for administration of PROMACTA. When you first start taking PROMACTA, your doctor will monitor your platelet counts once a week to help find the appropriate dose. Complete blood counts with differentials, including platelet counts, will be obtained monthly thereafter.
Click here to get more tips about taking PROMACTA.
First, check out our PROMACTA Patient Support Program by clicking here.
For information on financial support programs for PROMACTA, click here.
Other useful resources include:
- Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA) www.pdsa.org
A helpful resource for ITP education, advocacy, research, and support, the PDSA website can help you find ITP experts or hematology centers of excellence near you
- Foundation for Women & Girls with Blood Disorders (FWGBD) www.fwgbd.org/patient
Helping to ensure that all women with blood disorders are correctly diagnosed and treated at every stage of life
- ITP and Me www.itpandme.com
Providing medical, emotional, and lifestyle guidance, as well as helpful daily tips for people and families living with ITP
- American Society of Hematology www.hematology.org/education/patients
Furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of certain blood and bone disorders through educational resources, tools, and tips
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/immune-thrombocytopenia
NHLBI promotes the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases
- National Organization for Rare Disorders www.rarediseases.org
Providing a unified voice for those with rare diseases and their caregivers, seeking to help them so they won’t have to fight their battle alone
Do not flush unused or expired medications or pour down the drain. Follow federal, state, or local guidance to dispose of medications safely. Visit the FDA website for information about drug take-back programs and drop-off sites and how to properly dispose of medications in your home.
Click here to learn what Novartis is doing to support environmental sustainability.
Have trouble swallowing a pill?
Learn more about PROMACTA for oral suspension.