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Generic Name: anagrelide hydrochloride
Product Name: Agrylin

Indication: What Agrylin is used for

Agrylin Capsules contain a medicine called anagrelide hydrochloride which acts upon the bone marrow and prevents it from producing too many of the blood cells known as “platelets“.

In a disease such as thrombocythaemia, the bone marrow produces too many of these cells, and the very large numbers of platelets in the blood can cause serious problems with blood circulation. By preventing too many platelets from being made, Agrylin Capsules can help prevent serious problems with blood circulation due to overproduction of platelets by the bone marrow, helping manage thrombocythaemia.

Your doctor may have prescribed Agrylin Capsules for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Agrylin Capsules have been prescribed for you.

Agrylin Capsules are not addictive.

Agrylin Capsules are only available on a doctor’s prescription.

Action: How Agrylin works

The precise mechanism by which anagrelide reduces blood platelet count is unknown. In cell culture studies, anagrelide suppressed expression of transcription factors including GATA-1
and FOG-1 required for megakaryocytopoiesis, ultimately leading to reduced platelet production. In vitro studies of the growth of human megakaryocyte colonies in tissue culture showed that anagrelide disrupted the postmitotic phase of megakaryocyte development reducing megakaryocyte size and ploidy.

Each Agrylin Capsule contains 0.5 mg of the active ingredient anagrelide hydrochloride.

Agrylin Capsules also contain the inactive ingredients crospovidone, lactose anhydrous, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and povidone.

Agrylin Capsules are available in plastic bottles containing 100 capsules.

Dose advice: How to use Agrylin

Before you take Agrylin Capsules

When you must not take it

Do not take Agrylin Capsules if:

  • You are allergic to anagrelide or any of the other ingredients listed here;
  • Agrylin Capsules contains lactose and microcrystalline cellulose. These may cause a problem in a small number of people who are sensitive to them;
  • You have severe liver problems;
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding;
  • The expiry date (EXP) printed on the bottle has passed. If you take Agrylin Capsules after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well;
  • The packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.

Before you start to take it

Tell your doctor if:

  • You have any allergies;
  • You have had or now have any liver or kidney disease;
  • You have heart disease, heart failure or are at high risk of vascular events (thrombosis or bleeding).

If you become pregnant whilst taking Agrylin Capsules, you should stop taking the capsules and see your doctor immediately. Women taking Agrylin Capsules and who are at risk of becoming pregnant should make sure that they are using adequate contraception.

Agrylin Capsules should not be taken by anyone under 16 years of age.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines and Agrylin Capsules may interfere with each other. These include:

  • Aspirin or a medicine containing aspirin;
  • Medicines used to treat depression such as fluvoxamine;
  • Medicines used to treat gastrointestinal problems such as omeprazole;
  • Medicines used to treat severe asthma and breathing problems such as theophylline;
  • Medicines used to treat heart disorders such as milrinone;
  • Other medicines used to treat conditions affecting the platelets in your blood;
  • Medicines containing sucralfate.

How to take Agrylin Capsules

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained here.

How much to take

The recommended adult starting dose of anagrelide is 1 mg/day, which can be taken orally in two divided doses. This dosage will then be adjusted until your doctor has decided which dosage is best for you. Any single dose taken during the day should not exceed 2.5 mg. Your total daily dose should not exceed four times this, i.e. 10 mg (20 of the 0.5 mg capsules).

If you are elderly, you should take the normal adult dose.

When to take it

Take your capsules the same time each day. This will help you remember when to take the capsules.

Food reduces the absorption of Agrylin slightly, but this does not have any effect on the ability of Agrylin to reduce your platelet count.

How long to take it

You should not normally stop taking Agrylin Capsules unless your doctor tells you to. If Agrylin Capsules have been successfully reducing the excess of platelets in your blood, stopping Agrylin Capsules will cause the number of platelets in your blood to rise again within three or four days, so that the risk of problems with blood circulation may return.

If you feel unwell during your course of treatment, tell your doctor.

If you forget to take Agrylin Capsules

If you forget to take a dose of Agrylin Capsules, leave out that dose completely. Take your next dose at the normal time it is due.

Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.

If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If you have trouble remembering to take Agrylin Capsules, ask your pharmacist for some hints.

If you take too many Agrylin Capsules

Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Agrylin Capsules. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.

Symptoms of an overdose may include fast heartbeat, vomiting, and bleeding.

While you are taking Agrylin Capsules

Things you must do

Make sure that all of your doctors and pharmacists know about your use of Agrylin Capsules. Remind them if any new medicines are about to be started.

Tell your doctor immediately if you experience shortness of breath and fatigue while taking Agrylin Capsules.

Things you must not do

Do not take Agrylin Capsules to treat any complaint other than that directed by your doctor. It may not be safe to take Agrylin Capsules for another complaint.

Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you. It may not be safe for another person to take Agrylin Capsules.

Do not stop taking your Agrylin Capsules or change the dosage without checking with your doctor.

Things to be careful of

Agrylin may cause dizziness in some patients. Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Agrylin Capsules affects you.

Schedule of Agrylin

Agrylin is a Schedule 4 (prescription only) medicine.

Side effects of Agrylin

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Agrylin Capsules. Like all medicines, Agrylin Capsules may have some side effects. Most side effects are mild and patients often find that these wear off after a few weeks.

Do not be alarmed by the following list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.

Some serious side effects that may occur include:

  • Heart problems, including heart attack or a disturbed heartbeat, enlargement of the heart. As a precaution, your doctor may have to order some special straightforward heart function tests, both before and during your treatment;
  • Chest pain with or without rapid breathing;
  • Lung problems, including shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing;
  • Allergic coughing;
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness, stomach discomfort, vomiting blood or passing black stools;
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes caused by inflammation of the liver (hepatitis);
  • Bleeding, which can sometimes be serious if you are also taking aspirin.

If you suffer from any of these effects you should contact your doctor immediately.

Less serious side effects that may occur include:

  • Headache;
  • Aches and pains, including the back and the chest;
  • Palpitations, an unusually rapid heartbeat;
  • Water retention, swelling of the hands or feet;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Difficult or painful breathing;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Rash;
  • Wind, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting;
  • Feeling unwell;
  • Weakness, dizziness;
  • Fever;
  • Worsening of a cough;
  • Tingling sensation like pins and needles;
  • Alopecia (hair loss).

If these events persist, you should consult your doctor.

As a precaution, your doctor may have your blood, liver, and kidney tested regularly during treatment with Agrylin Capsules.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.

For further information talk to your doctor.


  1. Agrylin Consumer Medicine Information (CMI). Sydney, NSW: Shire Australia Pty Limited. November 2017. [PDF]
  2. Agrylin Product Information (PI). Sydney, NSW: Shire Australia Pty Limited. November 2017. [PDF]

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Posted On: 22 July, 2003
Modified On: 5 July, 2018
Reviewed On: 5 July, 2018


Created by: myVMC