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Generic Name: Deferiprone
Product Name: Ferriprox


Ferriprox tablets contain an ingredient called deferiprone. This is used to treat patients with thalassaemia major, because these patients need to undergo blood transfusion, iron is accumulated in the body over time. If the excess iron is not removed, it can cause serious damage to many organs in the body.

Usually a medication called desferrioxamine is used to treat these patients with iron overload. However, if the patients are unable to take desferrioxamine or this has proven ineffective, deferiprone is used.


Deferiprone binds to the iron in the blood and will be excreted from the body, hence, removing excess iron. Studies have shown that deferiprone can reduce the iron store in the body as well. However, the exact method on how it acts is unknown.

Dose advice

Deferiprone is a prescription-only drug available in the form of tablets.

Oral administration:

  • Ferriprox comes in the form of tablets, each containing 500mg of deferiprone.
  • The dosage of deferiprone is 25mg/kg of body weight 3 times a day, hence, giving a total of 75mg/kg of body weight.
  • The dosage should be calculated to the nearest half tablet (i.e. 250mg corresponding to half the tablet). For example an average 70kg person would require 1750mg 3 times a day, equivalent to 3.5 tablets 3 times a day. The total daily dose for this person would be 5250mg.


Schedule 4

Common side effects

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Urine become reddish/brown colour – This is harmless.
  • Indigestion.
  • Diarrhoea (increased frequency of bowel actions).
  • Appetite loss or increased appetite.
  • Pain in the tummy.
  • Flu-like symptoms such as back pain, headache.
  • Increased liver enzymes in the blood.
  • Neutropenia (reduced number of a type of white blood cells in the blood – leading to increased frequency of infections).
  • Agranulocytosis (severely low number of white blood cells – can lead to serious infection and if not treated, death).
  • Thrombocytopaenia (reduced nunber of platelets in the blood, leading to easy bruising).
  • Painful joint – Can be in more than 1 joint.
  • Dizziness and sleepiness.
  • Itchy rash.

Uncommon side effects

  • Worsening of hepatitis C, with changes happening in the liver.
  • Low zinc level in the body.


  1. onsumer Medicine Information on Ferriprox. 2005. [Cited 2005 September 17th].
  2. Mims online – Prescribing information for Ferriprox [online]. 2003 [cited 2005 September 17th]. Available from: URL:
  3. Product Information on Ferriprox. 2003. [Cited 2005 September 17th].

For further information talk to your doctor.

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Posted On: 20 September, 2005
Modified On: 23 January, 2008
Reviewed On: 23 January, 2008

Created by: myVMC