Procrit is used for preventing blood transfusions in people with anemia who are undergoing surgery and treating anemia caused by chemotherapy, chronic kidney failure, or zidovudine (an HIV medication). The drug has been approved for use in both adults and children. Occasionally, healthcare providers may recommend off-label Procrit uses, such as for the treatment of anemia in premature infants and severe orthostatic hypotension.
Procrit® (epoetin alfa) is a prescription medication used to help treat anemia caused by a variety of conditions. It belongs to a group of medications known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). Specifically, Procrit is approved for the following uses:
- Treating anemia caused by chemotherapy in people with cancer
- Treating anemia due to chronic kidney failure (renal failure)
- Treating anemia caused by zidovudine (Retrovir®, Combivir®, Trizivir®), an HIV medication
- Preventing blood transfusions in people with anemia who are undergoing surgery.
What Is Anemia?Anemia is a blood condition in which there is an abnormally low number of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen (O2) to tissues and organs throughout your body and enable them to use the energy from food. Without oxygen, these tissues and organs -- particularly the heart and brain -- may not perform their jobs as well as they should. Therefore, if you have anemia, you may tire easily and appear pale. Anemia may also contribute to heart problems. General anemia symptoms include:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Not doing well in work or school
- Low body temperature
- Pale skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Numbness or coldness in your hands and feet