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Starting on Procrit next week
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Starting on Procrit next week

My HMG is now at 12.5 and they want to start me on Procrit. Will I have more energy? Any sides to look forward to. What about post anything from this drug?

Thanks.
Julia
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19 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
glad to know yu are hangin in there-TRX  suxs!!! but it don't last forever,just seems that way..... the procrit will take some time to kick in(varies according to lord knows what..)but it will definately jumpstart your hmg and you will certainly feel the difference......GOODLUCK and keep on Dragonslayin!!....... ohh by the by,it does cause bit of bone pain,but only initially for me and i do not believe i have had any post trx effects..and contrary to my enthusiasm,i do not own stock in or work for the parent company
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188500_tn?1207368551
thanks beamishboy. Youre so right. It feels like the weeks are draging, but I am hopeful I'll kill this thing. Ive had it most of my life and I'll do whatever it takes to squash it. Ah, whats a little anemia? I am tired tho...
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Avatar_f_tn
What week are u in??
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188500_tn?1207368551
Interesting glodenrule. I wonder why my team wont let it go down too far. They feel by next week it will go down further, so lets make me feel better asasp.

You must have been SOOO tired!

Julia
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188500_tn?1207368551
Im in week 2. Shot 3 on Sat.
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Avatar_f_tn
Your HMG is still pretty high. Mine was 10.2 and my Dr said he would not use rescue drugs until it dipped into the 9's. Fortuntately, that was the lowest it got. I started rebounded after the 8 week mark. It leveled out in the 11's until I finished treatment
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Avatar_m_tn
From my limited experience they are moving rather fast and with the recent controversy surrounding these drugs I am a little surprised.  The controversy is regarding the use in renal disease but there may be relevant implications for us. Here is an article that may be of interest to you.

FDA Panel To Discuss Amgen, J&J Anti-Anemia Drugs In Sept
Last update: 7/20/2007 8:21:38 AM

By Jennifer Corbett Dooren
   Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--Safety questions surrounding anti-anemia drugs by Amgen Inc. (AMGN) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) will be addressed by another Food and Drug Administration panel in September.
In a Federal Register notice published Friday, the FDA said that on Sept. 11, it would convene a joint meeting of its cardiovascular and renal drugs advisory committee and the drug safety and risk management advisory committee to discuss "updated information on the risks and benefits" of Aranesp, Epogen and Procrit when used in the treatment of anemia due in patients with kidney failure.
The committees are made up of outside medical experts and are called on to made recommendations to the FDA. The agency usually follows its panels' advice but is not required to.
Aranesp and Procrit are approved to treat anemia associated with chemotherapy. Aranesp and another Amgen drug, Epogen, also are approved to treat anemia in people with kidney disease. Procrit and Epogen are identical except for the product label; J&J markets Procrit under a license agreement with Amgen.
In May, another FDA panel said the drugs should face additional restrictions on their product labels; soon after, Medicare proposed limiting payments for the drugs. At the time, FDA officials said they wanted to convene the cardiovascular and renal drugs panel to discuss the drugs before making additional regulatory decisions.
In March, the FDA added the agency's toughest "black box" warning, which discusses a variety of safety concerns to Aranesp, Amgen's top selling-drug, as well as to Epogen and Procrit.
The drugs fall into a class of drugs known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents. The drugs treat anemia by boosting the number of red blood cells. Until recently, they had been commonly been used off-label to treat fatigue in cancer patients and in cancer patients not receiving chemotherapy.
The boxed warning also recommends the drugs be used at the lowest dose possible to boost red blood cell levels to the lowest level necessary to avoid blood transfusions.
The FDA is concerned the drugs could promote tumor progression in some patients as well as cut down on overall survival. Most of the studies showing such problems involve the drugs being used at higher-than-recommended doses.
-By Jennifer Corbett Dooren, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9294; Jennifer.***@****
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 20, 2007 08:21 ET (12:21 GMT)

Mike
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96938_tn?1189803458
I think it's good that the doc will keep a close eye on it and be aggressive with the procrit.  But, I'm also a little surpised that they would intervene at this point (12.5).  You might inquire of the doc if it would pose an insurance coverage issues.  My hemo , and other docs, agreed to target hgb between 11 and 12, which is pretty aggressive but the insurance co would not pay until it was below 12.  I'm told there is some difference when the stuff (Aranesp in my case) is administed in a clinical setting (doc injects me in hematology/oncology ofc) verus a prescription at a pharmacy for self-injection.  May be time to ask a few questions.
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12849_tn?1189759425
Check your insurance, a lot of them won't cover unless you drop below 10. I get diarrhea for 2 days after my dose. It does give me more energy.
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Avatar_m_tn
Women and men have different  normal ranges though - low normal in females is about 12 whereas men it is around 13.2. Mike
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Avatar_m_tn
You are absolutely right about that - the rate and severity of decline is a major consideration. Mike
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Avatar_f_tn
I started procrit when my hgb reached 11.5 because it droppped to that number from 15.6 in less than 4 weeks, and I felt awful.  It's not only the absolute hgb number, but also the degree of decline that makes a person feel terrible.  If I remember correctly you're on Kaiser, as am I, and they're very generous about providing helper drugs.  I'm sure they'll keep a close watch on you as well, but you know, i'm sure, that you will need to report adverse effects ASAP.  Hope you feel better soon.
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Avatar_m_tn
Your doctors are being very proactive in your tx. I started procrit in week 4 because of nose dive anemia from 14.6 to 11.2. To some it may not be that big of deal but everyone is different. I applaud your doctors for doing so for it will ease the discomfort.
jasper
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Avatar_f_tn
I  am taking shot 9 tonight, My last heme was 11. I dropped from 14.6 - 11.6 the first 4-5  weeks and now have been dropping 1 -2 tenths each week. I feel like ****, sometimes so dizzy I am holding on to the walls. S.O.B. but I am sitting around doing nothing waiting for it to pass. I see the Dr. again next week. They originally said I had to drop between 10 and 11 for treatment. Some days I just wish it would make that last nudge. Has anyone tried a pint a blood and seen any significant difference? I feel like I'm down a quart! Again thank you all for the info. Is it the Riba, or Peg that does this or the combo? I had blood work this week but won't hear results till appt. next week we will be looking for that log drop I didn't achieve at 4 weeks. Maybe upping the Peg to 150. So I am learning , when does all this even out?
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188500_tn?1207368551
I was thinking the same thing. Why make it a misrable journey, when it doesnt need to be? I think they are assuming my HG will be down much lower by next labs, Guess it's better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it....

Julia
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Avatar_m_tn
I can’t speak for anyone else but it took me about 8 weeks before the spikes started to even out some what and all depends on how your body adjusts to the meds, some do some don't.You’ll get there it just takes time. Hang in there,
jasper
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband saw the doctor today for more lab work.  Dr. decided to start him on procrit because his hgb has dropped down to 4.3 and has had 7 units of blood in ten days and the hgb is still only 6.9.  We go back to the hospital this coming Monday for two more units of blood and will start the procrit.

Good news is the dr. said that we did achieve und in 4 weeks.  I feel so happy about that.  

Dr. is discontinuing the rib because of the severe anemia but he will still be taking the shot.  We have been doing tx for 7 weeks now.  If he tolerates the shot we will go for 24 weeks, if not the dr. said we will  go for 12.  I am hoping we can go for the 24 since he is a stage 4. The dr said he feels like he has 90% chance to be rid of the Hep C.

Sure hope the procrit brings the hgb hope so he will start eating and having more energy. Hopefully the procrit will not create a problem with his heart.

More I visit this forum the more I see that there are others going through the same thing.  It is good to hear and learn from everyone.  There is hope.

Wishing you the best brown eyed girl.
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Avatar_m_tn
No rose colored glasses here, there also sx associated with the use of procrit. Read the drug profile along with the other drug profiles. Some people have no side effects at all while others do experience similar sx’s. From my own experience, the sx of both the interferon and the procrit along with the daily ingestion of riba was just too much to bear physiologically. When I started to use the procrit I was taking the shot the day before the interferon shot, so when the procrit up take in my system was climbing to its peak on Friday, I would take the interferon shot Friday evening which would start climbing to its own peak by the next morning so it was a triple whammy and a lot for the body and the physic to adjust to because of the rapid chemical changes. I knew something was not right for me anyway and could not explain it here to get some much needed insight into the Pharmacokinetics of each drug and there algorithms (or parallel) interrelation to each other as to the sx and the up take of each. So, I started to move the procrit back from the interferon by days to I reach a happy medium which has helped lessen the sx of all. I am happy to say that I take the procrit on Tuesday night and the interferon shot on Friday night which allows the time needed for “my” body to adjust to the procrit before the next onslaught. The “Riba” well its just there day in and day out.

Look at it this way, take a piece of paper or use a spread sheet, draw two horizontal lines about three inches apart, left side put hours and on bottom put days, Riba is a constant ebb rhythm in short duration so put that in the middle with hyphens, dots or whatever. It has a duration of 6 hours (if taking 600mg twice a day), plot that out. Take the procrit and the interferon and plot the same way but the difference will be the up take time and the duration of and eventual fall off during the week which leads back to Friday night shot! Here is where the point of short fuses comes into play, everyone is at the lowest point in the treatment cycle and inerrable. Darn got off the subject,

Procrit? If Friday night is interferon shot night, Take procrit Tuesday night, space them out or learn the hard way.

Good Luck!
jasper

gklouisiana, also wishing you both the best
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Avatar_m_tn
Also, the interferon shot along with the riba lowers all blood work and some more so than others and kills a lot of the good stuff. So, by Tuesdays procrit shot and the three days in between allows the body to continually build what is needed and eventually it too will even out to a rhythm and stabilize the blood work in each individual and in their own time frame of adjustment. Maybe, maybe not. For those who feel nothing while using procrit, I wish everyone had the same reaction.

again, these are just my thoughts in coming to terms of the one aspect of tx'ing
jasper
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