Aranesp is a medicine which contains the active substance darbepoetin alfa, a product to treat anemia. Anemia is when your blood does not contain enough red blood cells and the symptoms may be fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath.
Aranesp works in exactly the same way as the natural hormone erythropoietin.Erythropoietin is produced in your kidneys and encourages your bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. The active substance of Aranesp is darbepoetin alfa produced by gene-technology in Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells (CHO-K1).
If you have chronic renal failure
Aranesp is used to treat symptomatic anemia that is associated with chronic renal failure (kidney failure) in adults and children. In kidney failure, the kidney does not produce enough of the natural hormone erythropoietin which can often cause anemia.
Because it will take your body some time to make more red blood cells, it will be about four weeks before you notice any effect.Your normal dialysis routine will not affect the ability of Aranesp to treat your anemia.
If you are receiving chemotherapy
Aranesp is used to treat symptomatic anemia in adult cancer patients with non-bone marrow cancers (non-myeloid malignancies) who are receiving chemotherapy. One of the main side effects of chemotherapy is that it stops the bone marrow producing enough blood cells.
Towards the end of your chemotherapy course, particularly if you have had a lot of chemotherapy, your red blood cell count may fall making you anemic.