Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents in Anemia: Use and Misuse

T. S. Dharmarajan, David Widjaja

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) have been in use for 2 decades. After the initial introduction for their use in anemia of end-stage renal disease, indications for the use of ESAs have widened to anemia of predialysis chronic kidney disease, cancer chemotherapy, HIV disease and orthopedic surgery. Along with the considerable benefits associated with the use of ESAs, adverse events have become apparent, in large part from overcorrection of the anemia. Data from recent studies have prompted several FDA warnings imposing the health provider to follow stringent criteria for the use of ESAs; these include close follow-up of patients, along with use of specific laboratory tests and criteria for dosing. Although adverse effects may partly relate to misuse, when appropriately administered, ESAs are useful agents in the medication armamentarium in the treatment of certain forms of anemia, with potential to improve outcomes and quality of life in some anemic individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-616
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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