Understanding Ferriprox

Ferriprox-deferiprone

There is some confusion when it comes to understanding Ferriprox and superficial siderosis. Ferripriox (Deferiprone) is a prescription drug whose primary purpose is treating people who have transfusional iron overload due to Thalassemia syndromes. Deferiprone was designed to bind to this iron and remove it in a process called Chelation therapy. It’s my understanding if a person suffers from iron overload they feel better when chelation lowers iron levels. Superficial siderosis patients do not have too much iron in their bloodstream. They have iron deposits (hemosiderin) stuck to areas of their brain (most often in the cerebellum or spinal cord) that are the result of blood infiltrating into their central nervous system from a trauma. An accident, surgery, stroke, etc., but somehow blood was introduced into their spinal fluid. The average person will naturally absorb and remove this blood. A rare few people will not be able to remove it. This iron is toxic to nerve function and ultimately can end in nerve death. There are many other prescription iron chelation medications on the market. Studies have shown Ferriprox as the only prescription drug, at this time, able to cross the blood-brain barrier so it might have a chance at removing hemosiderin…

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The Results Are In

Ferriprox

“Does Deferiprone provide a clinical benefit to the superficial siderosis patient?”   If you remember, the April 2017 edition of The Neurology Journal gave us an early peek at what the study findings might be in the final revision of Two-year Observational Study Of Deferiprone In Superficial Siderosis¹. The study was released this past December 28th, and the results have been published. This blog post is our cliff note version of the study, keeping in mind, we’re not medical researchers or doctors.   Initial recruitment included 48 participants.   Nine withdrew from the study because their insurance wouldn’t cover the off-label use of Ferriprox and one for other reasons. 38 people began the investigation, and over the course, two dropped out because of neutropenia concerns, four dropped for cost issues and one left for unrelated health reasons. 31 people completed the study. Each participant submitted a current neurological exam, a baseline MRI and prescribed a beginning dosage of 1,000 mg of Deferiprone taken twice daily on a five day on two days off dosage cycle. Adjustments were made to the dosage schedule for those with fatigue complaints to 500mg in the morning and 1,500mg in the evening.   All participants…

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Is My Ferriprox Working?

MRI Superficial Siderosis

First of all, we know the mind of Superficial Siderosis patients is full of questions. But if you’re one of the few who uses Deferiprone you want to know is my Ferriprox working? The original Pilot Saftey Trial of Deferiprone by Dr. Levy and Dr. Linas offered the first evidence chelation using Ferriprox could be successful without severe side effects. A longer term observational study began March 2012. Clinicaltrials.gov: Phase IV Observational Study of Deferiprone (Ferriprox®) in the Treatment of Superficial Siderosis. The estimated completion date is this month (Dec. 2017) with data collection ended in March 2017. Study Study   This study expanded the number of participants to 38. The average age of the subjects was 64 years old, the youngest 37 and the eldest 86. Just under half of the participants were female (47%) and 94% were Caucasian. All participants had to show evidence of Superficial Siderosis in addition to following the standard treatment dosing protocol: 1000 mg of  Ferriprox twice daily ×5 days per week. First, each participant submitted a baseline brain MRI. Blood test results recorded weekly. A final MRI in when the data collection period ended. The research was a two-year longitudinal study which means observational only.…

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Navigating The Iron Food Road

MRI Color Enhanced

Finding The Iron Content Of Everyday Foods   I’ll be honest – this is a tough one – no, you don’t have to follow the 5/2 diet cycle while on Ferriprox. Gary does because we’re trying to get our money’s worth. In March of 2014, when first diagnosed, the radiology report noted there was only “mild associated cerebellar atrophy.” Working, driving or walking a straight line were all still possible. Chelation therapy using Ferriprox started a year ago in July 2014. We know the deterioration continues even though you are on the medication. Ferriprox needs years to work on trying to remove the iron accumulation. The MRI in February of 2015 (11 months later) shows “prominent volume loss in the superior aspect of the cerebellum.” We probably could have guessed the latest report ourselves. Gary’s symptoms were getting worse so you can understand we feel the need to help this process along. The recommended daily intake of iron   A 57-year-old man needs an average of 8 mg of dietary iron daily to stay healthy. If you check out the Iron Content Database you’ll see the average fast food double meat cheeseburger (355 gm total weight), vegetables and condiments contain a total…

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The Decision To Choose Chelation Therapy

Ferriprox-deferiprone

The Decision To Choose Chelation Therapy Superficial Siderosis Diagnosis, Chelation Therapy, and Deferiprone Researching on your own can be tricky. Superficial Siderosis is a serious diagnosis and the early research papers we found scared us to death. At first glance, the prognosis is horrendous so when we came across Pilot Safety Trial of Deferiprone in 10 Subjects With Superficial Siderosis-Michael Levy and Rafael Llinas ¹ we started looking into chelation as a therapeutic option. I printed out every reference I could find online about deferiprone. You or a family member are diagnosed with Superficial Siderosis, an unheard of medical condition. Everyone around you is scratching their head? Quick, run to the internet. Research papers are for physicians and researchers, not intended for use by lay people. I will tell you if you read enough of them you can begin to form a simple understanding of the data. We found the contact information for Dr. Michael Levy and carried our folder to our primary care physician. He studied everything for a few days and agreed with us. This brand new drug therapy was looking like our only choice. Deferiprone is a drug that only recently received approval in the U.S for treating Superficial Siderosis…

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