I started Procrit 2 weeks ago (HGB was at 9.7, had harsh sx from anemia). After two shots, my HGB is at 10.4. I feel so much better. Taking my 3rd Procrit shot tonight. I looked at the Procrit literature and it says "Your doctor will adjust your dose of epoetin alfa injection so that your hemoglobin level (amount of a protein found in red blood cells) is between 10-12 g/dL." Ok, makes sense. My question to others who have been or are on Procrit, is how often do you have blood work done to make sure the HGB level doesn't go to high? Also, if you did get up to close to 12 or above, did your doc lower the dose or just take you off? I am at week 14 of 24 btw.
My husband also does weekly CBCs, and he's needed Procrit 2x a week to keep him above 10.0. At one point his hgb got to 11.7, so we stretched out the Procrit to 1x a week, and when it started slipping into the 10s again, we went to about 1x every 5 days... it's a little bit of see-sawing, but watching the weekly draws and tweaking as necessary has been what's worked for him. Hope that helps. ~eureka
Thanks everyone. This is extremely helpful. My doc is telling me to get blood work twice per month, not weekly. I wondered because it seems that my HGB jumped up fairly quickly once I started the Procrit and I am a little afraid of not being monitored closely because of the possible dangers of heart attack, stroke, etc. Plus, I have high blood pressure but am on medication for it and it is currently manageable.
I will ask my doctor why he thinks it's ok for me to go 2x a month for blood work.
I was in a "Procrit" study trial (which also included Boceprivir). When my Hgb dropped below 9, I started on weekly injections of Procrit.
The first follow up was scheduled for two weeks after my first injection. Remember it takes a couple of weeks for the drug to actually begin to make a difference. (And it may take a few weeks for you to level out after your Hgb recovers.)
After that, I made a few weekly trips in to the clinic, but most of the time it was bi-weekly. Sometimes I had to "hold" the drug if my Hgb was up over 11, but in no time at all my Hgb would fall again and I would resume the drug. They also dose reduced my Ribavirin at one point to try to stop the declining blood Hgb levels.
As long as they are monitoring you at least twice a month, you should be fine. Be sure to call your doctor with any concerns, and good luck. :)
Thanks for sharing your experience Pos. Wow, you had to wait until your hgb dropped below 9 before Procrit!? I don't think I could have handled that. I came very close to quitting tx at 9.7.
So looks as though most people get weekly blood work but that twice monthly is ok as well. I guess I'm just a little worried because in less than 2 weeks (10 days to be exact from when I took my 1st Procrit shot), my hgb went from 9.7 to 10.4. I am nervous about it getting too high without being detected. Although, it seems rare for the Procrit to cause the serious sx listed, so it's probably ok.
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