Advances in iron chelation therapy: transitioning to a new oral formulation.
Iron overload is a concern for patients who require repeated red-blood-cell transfusions due to conditions such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, or myelodysplastic syndromes. The recommended treatment for removing excess iron in these patients is iron chelation therapy. Currently available iron chelators include deferoxamine, which is administered by injection, and deferasirox and deferiprone, both of which are administered orally. Adherence to iron chelator therapy is an important consideration and may be affected by side effects. A new formulation of deferasirox, a film-coated tablet (FCT), has the potential to improve adherence by offering greater flexibility in administration compared with the original formulation of deferasirox, a dispersible tablet (DT) for oral suspension. This review provides an overview of the currently available iron chelator formulations, with a focus on a comparison between deferasirox DT for oral suspension and deferasirox FCT. The new formulation may be associated with fewer side effects and has increased bioavailability. In addition, alternative strategies for iron chelation, such as combining two different iron chelators, will be discussed.
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