What is Epogen?
Epogen is a prescription medication used to treat anemia associated with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.
Who is it for?
Epogen is for dogs and cats.
What are the benefits?
||Stimulates the production of red blood cells
||Helps treat the anemia associated with renal failure
||Injectable form means pet cannot spit out his/her medicine
How does Epogen work?
Epogen contains the synthetic form of erythropoietin, a naturally occurring hormone produced by the kidney, which stimulates the production of red blood cells. Deficiency of erythropoietin leads to anemia, which commonly occurs with chronic renal failure.
Is there a generic equivalent available?
How is it given?
Epogen is given by injection. Always use a new sterile needle and syringe for each injection. When finished, place the needle and syringe in a puncture-resistant container.
Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian. This medication should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.
Syringes with needles are available for administration. For smaller dogs and cats or for doses under 1ml, a TB 1ml needle/syringe is also recommended.
What results can I expect?
Multiple injections over a number of weeks are often necessary to achieve results, at which time the dose may be lowered by your veterinarian.
What form(s) does it come in?
This medication comes in liquid injectable form.
Common Drug Name
Erythropoietin (EPO), Epoetin Alfa
What should I discuss with my veterinarian while considering Epogen?
Talk to your veterinarian about what type of outcome is expected. Have your veterinarian explain the other treatment options that may be available to treat your pet's condition. Understand what laboratory tests and exams may be necessary during therapy.
Have your veterinarian or veterinary staff show you how to accurately measure the dose and give the injection.
Tell your veterinarian if your pet has high blood pressure or a history of seizures.
Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your pet is taking and also if your pet has had any reactions to previous medications.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give two doses at once.
What is the most important information I should know?
A large number of animals receiving Epogen become resistant to it (develop autoantibodies) and their anemia may worsen. Careful laboratory monitoring is needed while a pet is receiving Epogen.
Who should not take it?
Not for use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to it. Not for use in animals with uncontrolled
high blood pressure. Not for use in animals with low iron levels.
Do not use in pregnant or lactating animals (female animals nursing their young) unless benefits outweigh the risks. Avoid use, or use with caution, in animals prone to seizures.
Not recommended for use in animals with only a mild to moderate anemia (packed cell volume in the 20s), because of the risk of side effects, including the development of antibodies. Packed cell volume (PCV) is a measurement of the number of red blood cells in the blood.
What side effects may be seen when taking Epogen?
May see high blood pressure, seizures, iron depletion, fever, aching joints, or ulcers in the mouth/lips. Pain and irritation at injection site may be a warning that antibodies are developing. Consult your
veterinarian if you notice any of these side effects.
If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
How is it stored?
Store in the refrigerator protected from light. Do not shake. Do not freeze. Keep out of reach of children and pets.
What should I do if I know of or suspect there has been an overdose?
Acute overdosing is unlikely to cause a problem. Chronic overdosing may cause too high of
a red blood cell count and other related problems. If you know or suspect your pet has had an
overdose, or if you observe any changes in behavior, weakness, or changes in respiration or heart rate, contact your veterinarian immediately.
What should I avoid when giving my pet Epogen?
Consult your veterinarian before using erythropoietin, vitamins and supplements, androgens (male hormones), desmopressin, or probenecid, since interactions may occur.
Where is more information available?
Ask your veterinarian, consult with one of our pharmacists at 1-800-447-3021, or see the
Patient Information Sheet on this medication.