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Frequently Asked Questions
What should you know about PROMACTA?
Whether you’re new to PROMACTA® (eltrombopag) or not, you may have questions. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions. For complete information, refer to the Medication Guide. This does not replace talking to your doctor about your medical condition or treatment. Talk with your doctor about any additional questions you may have.
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)
PROMACTA is a prescription medicine used to treat adults and children 1 year of age and older with low blood platelet counts due to persistent or chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), after an initial ITP treatment has not worked well enough.
PROMACTA is also used to treat people with:
- low blood platelet counts due to chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection before and during treatment with interferon
- severe aplastic anemia (SAA) in combination with other medicines to treat SAA, as the first treatment for adults and children 2 years of age and older
- SAA when other medicines to treat SAA have not worked well enough
PROMACTA is used to try to raise platelet counts in order to lower your risk for bleeding.
PROMACTA is not used to make platelet counts normal.
PROMACTA is not for use in people with a precancerous condition called myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), or in people with low platelet counts caused by certain other medical conditions or diseases.
It is not known if PROMACTA is safe and effective when used with other antiviral medicines to treat chronic hepatitis C.
It is not known if PROMACTA is safe and effective in children:
- younger than 1 year with ITP
- with low blood platelet counts due to chronic hepatitis C
- whose SAA has not improved after previous treatments
- younger than 2 years when used in combination with other medicines to treat SAA as the first treatment for SAA
Before you take PROMACTA, tell your health care provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- have liver problems
- have a precancerous condition called MDS or a blood cancer
- have or had a blood clot
- have a history of cataracts
- have had surgery to remove your spleen (splenectomy)
- have bleeding problems
- are of Asian ancestry (such as Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, or Korean). You may need a lower dose of PROMACTA
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if PROMACTA will harm an unborn baby. Tell your health care provider if you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant during treatment with PROMACTA
- Females who are able to become pregnant, should use effective birth control (contraception) during treatment with PROMACTA and for at least 7 days after stopping treatment with PROMACTA. Talk to your health care provider about birth control methods that may be right for you during this time
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with PROMACTA. Talk to your health care provider about the best way to feed your baby during this time
Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. PROMACTA may affect the way certain medicines work. Certain other medicines may affect the way PROMACTA works.
Especially tell your health care provider if you take:
- certain medicines used to treat high cholesterol, called “statins”
- a blood thinner medicine
Certain medicines may keep PROMACTA from working correctly. Take PROMACTA at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking these products:
- antacid medicine used to treat stomach ulcers or heartburn
- multivitamins or products that contain iron, calcium, aluminum, magnesium, selenium, and zinc, which may be found in mineral supplements
Ask your health care provider if you are not sure if your medicine is one that is listed above.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them and show it to your health care provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
Here are 3 important things to know:
- PROMACTA can be taken without a meal or it can be taken 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
- Weekly doctor’s visits aren’t required for administration of PROMACTA
Click here to get more tips about taking PROMACTA.
Avoid situations and medicines that may increase your risk of bleeding.
PROMACTA may cause serious side effects, including:
- Increased risk of worsening of a precancerous blood condition called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). PROMACTA is not for use in people with a precancerous condition called myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). See “What is PROMACTA?” If you have MDS and receive PROMACTA, you have an increased risk that your MDS condition may worsen and become a blood cancer called AML. If your MDS worsens to become AML, you may have an increased risk of death from AML
- High platelet counts and higher risk for blood clots. Your risk of getting a blood clot is increased if your platelet count is too high during treatment with PROMACTA. Your risk of getting a blood clot may also be increased during treatment with PROMACTA if you have normal or low platelet counts. You may have severe problems or die from some forms of blood clots, such as clots that travel to the lungs or that cause heart attacks or strokes. Your health care provider will check your blood platelet counts and change your dose or stop PROMACTA if your platelet counts get too high. Tell your health care provider right away if you have signs and symptoms of a blood clot in the leg, such as swelling, pain, or tenderness in your leg.
People with chronic liver disease may be at risk for a type of blood clot in the stomach area (abdomen). Tell your health care provider right away if you have stomach-area (abdomen) pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea as these may be symptoms of this type of blood clot
- New or worsened cataracts (a clouding of the lens in the eye). New or worsened cataracts can happen in people taking PROMACTA. Your health care provider will check your eyes before and during your treatment with PROMACTA. Tell your health care provider about any changes in your eyesight while taking PROMACTA
The most common side effects of PROMACTA in adults and children include:
- low red blood cell count (anemia)
- abnormal liver function tests
Laboratory tests may show abnormal changes to the cells in your bone marrow.
Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of PROMACTA. For more information, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
- Store PROMACTA tablets at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C)
- Keep PROMACTA in the bottle given to you
For oral suspension:
- Store PROMACTA for oral suspension at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C)
- After mixing, PROMACTA should be taken right away but may be stored for no more than 30 minutes between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Throw away (discard) the mixture if not used within 30 minutes
Keep PROMACTA and all medicines out of the reach of children.
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use PROMACTA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give PROMACTA to other people even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.
You can ask your health care provider or pharmacist for information about PROMACTA that is written for health professionals.
PROMACTA is a once-daily drug that may help boost the production of blood cells in your bone marrow and help treat your severe aplastic anemia.
Information and organizations related to severe aplastic anemia (SAA)
Additionally, there are many resources available to help you learn more about SAA and connect with others who are living with this condition.
Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation www.aamds.org
- Dedicated to supporting patients and families living with aplastic anemia and related diseases of bone marrow failure.
American Society of Hematology www.hematology.org/education/patients
- Furthering the understanding, diagnoses, treatment, and prevention of certain blood and bone disorders.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) www.nhlbi.nih.gov
- NHLBI promotes the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases.
The organizations and websites listed on this page are maintained by third parties over whom Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation has no control. As such, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation makes no representation as to the accuracy or any other aspect of the information supplied by these organizations or contained in these websites.