nocturnally on 5 nights per week. Simultaneous oral administration of ascorbic acid is to be avoided; it increases the availability of free iron for chelation but carries the risk of mobilising iron from relatively safe reticuloendothelial storage sites to a potentially toxic pool in parenchymal cells. This regimen can put a transfusion-dependent patient into the desired negative iron balance. Compliance is often a problem and is typically difficult during teenage years in those with lifelong transfusion-dependence. The expense of chelation therapy over a long period is currently enormous and raises serious ethical problems in economically poor countries where most patients with thalassaemia and haemoglobinopathies live.

A safe, effective, inexpensive, orally-absorbed iron chelating agent would improve compliance and the quality of life of affected patients. Deferiprone, which is the best of many agents examined, is less effective than desferrioxamine, carries a risk of agranulocytosis and may itself cause tissue fibrosis. It remains under clinical trial but may be too toxic for general use.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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