Skeletal formula and spacefill model of deferoxamine
|ATC code||V03AC01 (WHO)|
|Biological half-life||6 hours|
|Synonyms||desferrioxamine B, desferoxamine B, DFO-B, DFB ,N'-[5-(Acetyl-hydroxy-amino)pentyl]-N-[5-[3-(5-aminopentyl-hydroxy-carbamoyl) propanoylamino]pentyl]-N-hydroxy-butane diamide|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||560.69 g·mol−1|
|3D model (Jmol)||Interactive image|
Deferoxamine (DFOA), sold under the brand name Desferal, is a medication that binds iron and aluminium. It is specifically used in iron overdose, hemochromatosis either due to multiple blood transfusions or an underlying genetic condition, and aluminium toxicity in people on dialysis. It is used by injection into a muscle, vein, or under the skin.
Common side effects include pain at the it of injection, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, hearing loss, and eye problems. Severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis and low blood pressure may occur. It is unclear if use during pregnancy or breastfeeding is safe for the baby. Deferoxamine is a siderophore from the bacteria Streptomyces pilosus.
Deferoxamine was approved for medical use in the United States in 1968. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about 6.76 to 13.52 USD per dose. In the United States a course of treatment costs more than 200 USD.
Deferoxamine is used to treat acute iron poisoning, especially in small children. This agent is also frequently used to treat hemochromatosis, a disease of iron accumulation that can be either genetic or acquired. Acquired hemochromatosis is common in patients with certain types of chronic anemia (e.g. thalassemia and myelodysplastic syndrome) who require many blood transfusions, which can greatly increase the amount of iron in the body. Administration for chronic conditions is generally accomplished by subcutaneous injection over a period of 8–12 hours each day. Administration of deferoxamine after acute intoxication may color the urine a pinkish red, a phenomenon termed "vin rosé urine".
Apart from iron toxicity, deferoxamine can be used to treat aluminium toxicity (an excess of aluminium in the body) in select patients. In US, the drug is not FDA-approved for this use.
Deferoxamine acts by binding free iron in the bloodstream and enhancing its elimination in the urine. By removing excess iron, the agent reduces the damage done to various organs and tissues, such as the liver. Also, it speeds healing of nerve damage (and minimizes the extent of recent nerve trauma). Deferoxamine may modulate expression and release of inflammatory mediators by specific cell types.
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