Anemia can occur if erythropoietin levels are low. This is seen in renal failure, when the kidneys are no longer able to produce erythropoietin. It can also occur if the body does not have enough of the building blocks necessary to form RBCs or if a person has genetic predisposition to forming abnormal RBC, as in sickle cell anemia.
Another type of anemia is megaloblastic anemia, which involves decreased production of RBCs and ineffectiveness of those RBCs that are produced (they do not usually survive for the 120 days that is normal for the life of an RBC). Patients with megaloblastic anemia usually have a lack of vitamin B12 or folic acid.
A third type of anemia is hemolytic anemia, which involves a lysing of RBCs because of genetic factors or from exposure to toxins. Sickle cell anemia is a type of hemolytic anemia.
There are four types of Antianemics Drugs
- Epoetin alfa
- Ferrous fumarate
- Ferrous sulfate
- Folic acid
Indications of the Drugs:
Anemia associated with chronic renal failure (epoetin alfa); zidovudine therapy in patients with HIV and cancer patients on chemotherapy (epoetin alfa); reduce the need for allogenic blood transfusions in surgical patients (epoetin alfa); iron deficiency (ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulfate); RDA (folic acid); megaloblastic or macrocytic anemia from folic acid or other nutritional deficiency (folic acid)
How Antianemics drugs work:
Epoetin stimulates RBC production in the bone marrow. Ferrous fumarate and ferrous sulfate provide elemental iron, an essential component in the formation of hemoglobin. Folic acid stimulates normal erythropoiesis and nucleoprotein synthesis.
Antianemic agents may cause fatigue, headache, weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, rash, and urticaria.
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