Last reviewed 01/2018

The principal use is in renal failure; priority indicators include:

  • transfusion dependency
  • angina - heart failure aggravated by anaemia
  • haemoglobin concentrations less than 8
  • livelihood threatened by anaemia
  • prevention of sensitisation to transplantation antigens

Other uses include:

  • patients anaemic due to malignant disease - improves anaemia, but quality of life probably not increased
    • there are concerns about using erythopoietin in patients with cancer:
      • study evidence revealed that erythropoiesis-stimulating agent administration to patients with cancer is associated with increased risks of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and mortality (1)

  • rheumatoid arthritis:
    • corrects anaemia
    • results in clinical improvement

  • Jehovah's witnesses:
    • useful following major surgery

  • haematologic disorders:
    • safe and effective in lymphoproliferative disorders
    • less good in haematopoietic disorders
    • iron deficiency is an important cause of failure to respond