Eltrombopag (By mouth)


Eltrombopag (el-TROM-boe-pag)
Treats thrombocytopenia (low platelets in the blood) in patients with a blood disorder called chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). This medicine is only used when splenectomy (surgery to remove the spleen) and other medicines have not worked well enough.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to eltrombopag.

How to Use This Medicine

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach. Take this medicine at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
If a dose is missed:
  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using penicillin G injections, methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®), nateglinide (Starlix®), repaglinide (Prandin®), or rifampin (Rimactane®, Rifadin®). Tell your doctor if you are also using a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®) or a medicine to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, Crestor®, Lescol®, Lipitor®, or Pravachol®).
  • If you are also taking antacids, multivitamins, or other products (such as dairy products or juices) that contain aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, or zinc, take these at least 4 hours before or 4 hours after eltrombopag.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, bleeding problems, bone marrow problems, a blood cancer, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), or a history of blood clots or cataracts (clouding of the eye).
  • This medicine may cause serious liver problems. Stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you start having nausea or vomiting, dark urine, light-colored stools, right upper stomach pain, tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you have Asian relatives, such as Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Taiwanese. You may need a lower dose of this medicine.
  • Using this medicine for a long time may cause changes in your bone marrow. These changes may lead to a serious condition called bone marrow fibrosis, where your body produces less blood cells. Your doctor will check for this unwanted effect.
  • Blood clotting problems may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have pain, swelling, or tenderness in your leg, or shortness of breath and pain in your chest.
  • Do not stop taking this medicine without checking with your doctor first. Stopping this medicine suddenly may cause the number of platelets to go lower than the number you had before you started taking the medicine. This will increase your risk for bleeding. Your doctor will check your platelet levels and progress when you stop taking the medicine.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Blood tests will be needed while you are using this medicine.
  • This medicine may cause cataracts or make them worse. Check with your doctor right away if you have blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision while you are taking this medicine. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Blurred vision or changes in vision.
  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings.
  • Longer or heavier menstrual periods.
  • Redness or bleeding of the eyes.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Muscle pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach upset.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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