RARITAN, NJ--Procrit (Epoetin alfa) has received marketing clearance
by the FDA for use in reducing the need for allogeneic blood transfusions
in anemic patients scheduled to undergo elective noncardiac, nonvascular
surgery. Patients should be at high risk for perioperative transfusion
with significant, anticipated blood loss. Procrit is not indicated for
anemic patients who are willing to donate autologous blood.
Procrit, which is marketed by Ortho Biotech Inc and manufactured by
Amgen Inc, is a genetically engineered version of erythropoietin, a glycoprotein
that stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. The agent is
also approved for use in the treatment of anemia associated with chemotherapy
in nonmyeloid cancers, in zidovudine (AZT)-treated HIV-positive patients,
and in patients with chronic renal failure.
Procrit is expected to be used in a variety of elective surgical procedures
that often involve blood loss requiring transfusions, including orthopedic
procedures such as hip and knee replacements.
It can be administered subcutaneously once weekly for three weeks before
surgery and on the day of surgery, or as a daily subcutaneous dose for
10 days before surgery, on the day of surgery, and for four days after