"Give with a free hand, but give only your own."
 -- J.R.R. Tolkien The Children of Hurin
Desferrioxamine -

General Information:

Names: Deferasirox (Exjade, Novartis), desferioxamine (desferrioxamine or desferal)
Wikipedia entry:
Dr. Ray Shahelien entry: 


Known sources:

Natural sources:


1. McLachlan DR, Dalton AJ, Kruck TP, Bell MY, Smith WL, Kalow W, Andrews DF.  Intramuscular desferrioxamine in patients with Alzheimer's disease.  Lancet. 1991 Jun 1;337(8753):1304-8.

2. McLachlan DR, Smith WL, Kruck TP.  Desferrioxamine and Alzheimer's disease: video home behavior assessment of clinical course and measures of brain aluminum.
Ther Drug Monit. 1993 Dec;15(6):602-7.

Deferasirox (Exjade, Novartis), desferioxamine (desferrioxamine or desferal):
  Desferasirox: Oral Medicine Found To Remove Excess Iron from the Body
 Desferal:  Intramuscular Medicine Found to Remove Excess Iron from the Body
    See also:


"On the other hand deferasirox is available in a once-daily, drinkable format, providing a promising alternative. Maria Domenica Cappellini, MD, of the University of Milan, Italy, and lead study author said that this reduces the strain on those patients especially children who require frequent blood transfusions help them to lead a normal and healthy life."

New Drug Poised To Radically Change The Treatment of Severe Anemias
"Those with severe chronic anemias need frequent blood transfusions to remain healthy, but such frequent transfusions can cause a potentially deadly buildup of iron in the body, leading to heart and liver failure. The traditional treatment to remove excess iron is so onerous that many patients choose to forgo it, putting their own lives at risk. The results of an international study on deferasirox, a new drug that may revolutionize the way chronic iron overload is treated, will be published in the May 1, 2006, issue of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology."

"Deferasirox (Exjade, Novartis) was approved in November and touts itself as the first and only once-daily oral iron chelator. The drug is approved for the treatment of chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions in adults and children age two and older. According to Novartis, deferasirox tablets should be dispersed into orange juice, apple juice, or water, and administered as a drink. Previously available iron chelator therapy [intramuscular injections desferal, or desferioxamine or desferrioxamine] often required a subcutaneous infusion lasting eight to 12 hours per night.

"Clinical trials for deferasirox included more than 1,000 adults and children and showed that doses of 20-30 mg/kg/day led to reductions in liver iron concentration, an indication for body iron content in patients receiving blood transfusions. The new drug will cost about 20% more than desferrioxamine (Desferal, Novartis). The list price is $89.49/gm, which at an average dosage, comes to more than $32,000 annually for treatments other than sickle cell disease. Costs for sickle cell treatment are about a third lower."

Geriatric Use

"EXJADE did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to
determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Thirty patients ≥65 years of age were included in clinical trials of EXJADE. The majority of these patients had myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS, n=27; other anemias, n=3). In general, caution should be used in elderly patients due to the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease
or other drug therapy."

[Interestingly, the clinical trials of EXJADE did not include enough
subjects of the age most likely to suffer from Alzheimer's.]





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Updated: July 25, 2012
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