RETACRIT may cause serious side effects that can lead to death, including:
For people with cancer:
- Your tumor may grow faster and you may die sooner if you choose to take RETACRIT. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about these risks.
For all people who take RETACRIT, including people with cancer or chronic kidney disease:
- Serious heart problems, such as heart attack or heart failure, and stroke. You may die sooner if you are treated with RETACRIT to increase red blood cells (RBCs) to near the same level found in healthy people.
- Blood clots. Blood clots may happen at any time while taking RETACRIT. If you are receiving RETACRIT for any reason and you are going to have surgery, talk to your healthcare provider about whether or not you need to take a blood thinner to lessen the chance of blood clots during or following surgery. Blood clots can form in blood vessels (veins), especially in your leg (deep venous thrombosis or DVT). Pieces of a blood clot may travel to the lungs and block the blood circulation in the lungs (pulmonary embolus).
- Call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain in your legs, with or without swelling
- A cool or pale arm or leg
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or trouble understanding others' speech
- Sudden numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body
- Sudden trouble seeing
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Loss of consciousness (fainting)
- Hemodialysis vascular access stops working
If you decide to take RETACRIT, your healthcare provider should prescribe the smallest dose of RETACRIT that is necessary to reduce your chance of needing RBC transfusions.