Hemochromatosis is a disorder that causes your body to absorb extreme amounts of iron from the foods and beverages you eat and drink, also called iron overload disorder. This could also be a result of receiving regular blood transfusions. Exjade is prescribed for binding to the excess iron in your bloodstream and excreting it from your body as waste.
Exjade contains Deferasirox, a chelating agent that can be prescribed as a standalone drug or added to a regular therapeutic phlebotomy procedure consisting of donating blood until iron levels are more manageable. When taken as directed, Exjade travels through your bloodstream gathering up excess iron, binding it, and taking it from your bloodstream to your kidneys and expelling it in your urine.
The cause of hemochromatosis could be hereditary; inheriting only one gene mutation from a parent means you will be a carrier and may absorb more iron than normal but you are not expected to develop iron overload disorder. Secondary hemochromatosis occurs as a result of another condition and juvenile hemochromatosis occurs where iron build up begins at a much earlier age.
Most people absorb about 10% of the iron consumed and when the storage of iron is sufficient, your body will cut back on the amount of iron your intestines absorb to prevent levels from rising too much. You need iron in your red blood cells in order to carry oxygen to all of your cells. Although too much iron in your blood is not good, neither is too little.
A ferritin test can be done to measure how much of this iron storage protein is in your blood stream. Complications of hemochromatosis include cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, and diabetes if you go undiagnosed or untreated. Iron overload can cause chronic fatigue, joint pain, hair loss, liver disease, or a heart attack, to name a few.
Tell your doctor before taking Exjade if you are pregnant or if you are trying to become pregnant, as well as if you are breast feeding to avoid any harmful effects to your unborn or nursing baby. To determine if Exjade is safe for you to take, your doctor should be aware of other medical conditions and allergies you have. List any non-prescription medications or Rx drugs you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements.
Exjade is a dispersible tablet that is put in water or juice and allowed to dissolve before drinking the liquid. If you are taking an oral contraceptive, your doctor may recommend a second non-hormonal birth control as a precaution as Exjade could make the pill less effective. Do not take any antacids that contain aluminum while taking Exjade.