PROCRIT® is part of a category of medicines called erythropoiesis–stimulating agents (ESAs). It is used for the treatment of anemia to reduce the need for blood transfusions in patients undergoing certain types of surgery when patients are unwilling or unable to donate their own blood. ESAs are not the only treatments for anemia in patients undergoing surgery. Other treatments used prior to surgery may include iron, vitamin B12, and blood transfusions.

PROCRIT® is a man–made form of erythropoietin that causes your bone marrow to make more red blood cells. This, in turn, raises your hemoglobin level and may reduce the need for a blood transfusion. The rise in hemoglobin is not immediate. It usually takes 2 to 6 weeks before the number of red blood cells increases in your body. Individual results with PROCRIT® may vary.

There are many different types of side effects that can occur with PROCRIT®. Using PROCRIT® can lead to death or other serious side effects:
  • You may get serious heart problems, such as heart attack, stroke, or heart failure, and may die sooner if you are treated with PROCRIT® to increase RBCs to near the same level found in healthy people.
  • You may get blood clots at any time while taking PROCRIT®. If you are going to have surgery, talk to your doctor about whether you need to take a blood thinner to lessen the chance of blood clots during or following surgery. Clots can form in blood vessels (veins), especially in your leg (deep venous thrombosis). Pieces of a blood clot may travel to the lungs and block the blood circulation in the lungs (pulmonary embolus).
Other side effects of PROCRIT® that may also be serious include high blood pressure, seizures, antibodies to PROCRIT®, severe skin reactions and serious allergic reactions. There are also dangers of using PROCRIT® from multiple–dose vials in newborns, infants, and pregnant or lactacting women.

Common side effects of PROCRIT® include:
  • Joint, muscle, or bone pain
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • High blood sugar
  • Low potassium levels in the blood
  • Chills
  • Redness and pain at the PROCRIT® injection site
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blood vessel blockage
  • Low white blood cells
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Soreness of mouth
  • Itching
  • Headache
  • Respiratory infection
  • Weight decrease
  • Depression
  • Muscle spasm

These are not all the possible side effects of PROCRIT®. Your doctor can give you a more complete list. If you are currently taking or considering taking PROCRIT®, you and your doctor should evaluate all risks and benefits associated with this drug. Be sure to read the Medication Guide for PROCRIT® and discuss any questions you have with your doctor. Only you and your doctor can decide if PROCRIT® is right for you.

PROCRIT® is available by prescription only and is administered as a shot (injection).

Indications and Important Safety Information
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