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Chelating Agent Heavy Metal Antagonist

Brand names:

Exjade®; Jadenu®; Jadenu® Sprinkle

Often used for:

Removing iron from the body

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What is deferasirox?

Deferasirox is a medicine used to remove excess iron in the body. The body can have too much iron because of blood transfusions or the body absorbing too much iron. Deferasirox works by binding to iron in the body. The excess iron is then removed through the stool (poop).

Your child will have regular blood draws and a yearly MRI of the liver to see how they respond to deferasirox. Be sure to attend all scheduled appointments.

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May be given as a tablet or granules by mouth

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May be given as a dissolvable tablet for liquid suspension by mouth

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Possible side effects

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rash
  • Feeling tired
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision problems
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, hives, itching, fever, chills, headache, muscle ache, shortness of breath, coughing, tightness in the throat, dizziness, low blood pressure, pain in the chest, side, or back, swelling of the face or neck.

Not all patients who take deferasirox will have these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Some side effects may be severe. Report any symptoms or side effects to your doctor or pharmacist. Find more information on side effects.

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Tips for patients and families

Be sure to discuss all questions and instructions with your doctor or pharmacist. 

  • While taking this medicine, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. Follow your care team’s instructions for fluid intake.
  • Let your doctor or pharmacist know of any medicines that your child is taking. Other medicines, including over-the-counter drugs, may interact with this medicine.
  • Do not give your child aluminum-containing antacids such as Maalox® while they are taking this medicine.
  • This medicine may make your child dizzy or drowsy. Do not allow your child to do anything that could be dangerous until you see how this medicine affects them.
  • Have your child’s hearing and vision checked as recommended by your care team.
  • Some patients may have a reaction to this medicine. Let your care team know if your child develops a skin rash.
  • Contact your doctor if your child has severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • It is important that patients tell the care team if they are sexually active, pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • This medicine may make birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control methods less effective. Sexually active patients should use another form of birth control, like condoms, to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine.

Deferasirox at home

  • Give this medicine at the same time each day.
  • Tablet for Liquid Suspension: Give on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before a meal. These tablets must be dissolved in liquid. Do not let your child chew or swallow the tablet whole. Drop the tablets in a glass of water or fruit juice. Stir to mix evenly. Then have your child drink all the liquid. Rinse any remaining medicine in the glass with more water or juice and give it to your child to drink.
  • Tablet: Give on an empty stomach or with a light meal. If your child has problems swallowing tablets, you can crush the tablet and mix it with a small amount of soft food, such as yogurt or applesauce. After crushing the tablet, mix it with the food and have your child eat all of it right away. Check with your pharmacist to know how to crush the tablet properly.
  • Granules: Give on an empty stomach or with a light meal. Add the granules to a small amount of soft food, such as yogurt or applesauce. Mix and have your child eat all of it right away.
  • Give a missed dose as soon as possible. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not give 2 doses at the same time.
  • Store at room temperature.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe handling, storage, and disposal.