Understanding Binocrit: An Informative Guide

In this guide, we’ll explore Binocrit, a medication that’s been prescribed to you for specific health reasons. It’s important to understand why you’re taking it, how to use it, and any possible side effects or considerations. Your healthcare provider will provide you with personalized guidance, but this guide can help provide you with a broader understanding of Binocrit.

What is Binocrit?

Binocrit is a medication that contains the active ingredient epoetin alfa. It’s available in pre-filled syringes for injection. While this guide provides valuable information, always remember to consult your doctor or pharmacist for personalized advice.

Indications: What is Binocrit Used For?

Binocrit’s primary role is to stimulate the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. These cells are essential for carrying oxygen throughout your body. When the number of red blood cells decreases, it can lead to a condition called anemia, which can cause symptoms such as tiredness, breathlessness during physical activity, and feeling cold.

Binocrit is commonly used in the following situations:

  • Anemia Associated with Kidney Disease: If you have kidney disease, your kidneys may not produce enough erythropoietin, which is crucial for red blood cell production. Binocrit helps stimulate your bone marrow to produce more red blood cells, addressing anemia.
  • Anemia During Cancer Treatment: For individuals receiving chemotherapy, there may be a need for blood transfusion. Binocrit can help reduce this need by stimulating red blood cell production.
  • Preoperative Blood Donation: In some cases, individuals who are mildly anemic may need to donate their blood before surgery. Binocrit can increase the volume of blood that can be collected because it promotes red blood cell production.
  • Orthopedic Surgery: Before undergoing major orthopedic surgery, Binocrit might be used as an alternative to a blood transfusion. This is particularly helpful when there’s a high risk associated with transfusions.

Always consult your doctor if you have any questions about why Binocrit has been prescribed for you. It’s essential to discuss your specific situation.

Dosage and Administration

The correct dosage of Binocrit will be determined by your healthcare provider. Binocrit can be administered either intravenously (into a vein) or subcutaneously (under the skin).

Here are some dosage guidelines for common scenarios:

  • Anemia due to Kidney Failure: The starting dose is typically 50 IU/kg three times a week for adults and 25 IU/kg three times a week for children. Your doctor may adjust the dose as needed.
  • Surgery Without Self-Blood Storage: The usual dose is 300 IU/kg body weight for ten days before surgery, on the day of surgery, and for four days after. Alternatively, a dose of 600 IU/kg may be administered weekly for three weeks before surgery and on the day of surgery. The subcutaneous route is used.
  • Anemic Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy: The initial dose is 150 IU/kg three times a week. Your doctor will increase the dose to 300 IU/kg three times weekly if the response has been insufficient. If too many red cells are produced, your doctor may adjust the dose.

Note: If you’re injecting Binocrit subcutaneously, the typical amount is not more than 1 mL per injection.

For safety, never attempt to inject yourself without proper training.

Before Using Binocrit

Before starting Binocrit, it’s essential to discuss any allergies, medical conditions, or concerns with your healthcare provider. Mention if you have or have had:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Blood circulation disorders
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Seizures or epileptic fits
  • A history of cancer
  • Liver disease
  • Gout
  • Porphyria

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, inform your doctor as well.

Drug Interactions

Binocrit can interact with other medications. Inform your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs.

How to Use Binocrit

Always follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. If you’re unsure about how to use Binocrit, ask your healthcare provider for clarification. It’s crucial to administer the correct dose. If you miss a dose, follow your doctor’s guidance on when to take the next one.

Binocrit is usually injected into the vein or under the skin. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate method. If you’re administering it subcutaneously, here are the general steps:

  1. Remove the syringe from the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature (15 to 30 minutes).
  2. Check the syringe to ensure it’s the right dose and has not expired.
  3. Select an injection site, such as the thigh or abdomen, but away from the navel.
  4. Wash your hands and disinfect the injection site.
  5. Carefully remove the syringe cover.
  6. Pinch a fold of skin, insert the needle, and check for blood. If you see blood, try a different site.
  7. Inject the medicine slowly and evenly.
  8. Remove the needle and apply an antiseptic swab.
  9. Dispose of the used syringe safely.

Do not use Binocrit if the solution is not clear, colorless, or contains visible particles. The medication is given alone and should not be mixed with other liquids for injection.

Side Effects

As with any medication, Binocrit may have side effects. Some common side effects may include flu-like symptoms, cough, redness at the injection site, and gastrointestinal issues.

In some cases, more severe side effects may occur, such as severe headaches, seizures, elevated blood pressure, or blood clotting. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Storage and Disposal

Binocrit should be stored in its original container at a temperature between 2°C and 8°C in the refrigerator, but not frozen. Once removed from the refrigerator, it can be stored at a temperature below 25°C for a maximum of three days. Do not store it in the bathroom or near a sink, and keep it out of reach of children.

Properly dispose of any unused Binocrit or expired medication.

Appearance and Ingredients

  • Physical Characteristics: Binocrit solution for injection appears as a clear and colorless liquid. It is conveniently supplied in glass graduated syringes.
  • Variety: Binocrit is available in different strengths, with each containing a specific amount of the active ingredient, epoetin alfa (rch). These strengths range from Binocrit 1,000 IU / 0.5 mL to Binocrit 40,000 IU / 1.0 mL.
  • Active Ingredient: Each syringe contains a specific quantity of epoetin alfa (rch) in accordance with its strength.
  • Inactive Ingredients: In addition to the active ingredient, Binocrit includes various inactive ingredients that contribute to its composition. These include sodium dihydrogen-phosphate dihydrate, disodium hydrogen-phosphate dihydrate, sodium chloride, glycine, polysorbate 80, nitrogen, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and water for injections.
  • Allergen Information: It’s important to note that Binocrit is free from common allergens like lactose, sucrose, gluten, tartrazine, and azo dyes.

Supplier Information

  • Manufacturers: Binocrit is provided by Sandoz Pty Ltd.
  • Location: Sandoz Pty Ltd is based at 54 Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park, NSW 2113, Australia.
  • Contact Information: For inquiries or assistance, you can reach them at 1800 634 500.
  • New Zealand Contact: If you are in New Zealand, you can contact Novartis New Zealand Ltd at PO Box 99102, Newmarket, Auckland 1149, or by calling 0800 354 335.

Conclusion

Binocrit is a valuable medication that can help address anemia and related conditions. Your healthcare provider has prescribed it for a specific reason, and following their guidance is crucial. This guide serves as a general overview, and you should reach out to your healthcare provider for personalized advice and to address any concerns or questions you may have. Your well-being is of utmost importance, and your healthcare team is here to support you throughout your treatment with Binocrit.

Remember, your healthcare provider is your best source of information and guidance related to Binocrit. This guide is intended to provide general information and should not replace professional medical advice.