Epogen Shot..Feeling Tired

My mom had her first Epogen shot last week, and she said she felt beter before she had the shot. Felt pretty crappy, tired and run down after the shot. Is this common for this to happen? She is going to let the doctor know today. Hope there are other alternatives, because she really does not want to feel like that every time. Appreciate your help.

It is possible to be allergic to Epogen. Here is a link to the page of rxlist.com that talks about the side effects that have been reported from the drug: http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/epogen_ad.htm. That said, EPOGEN is a synthetic version of a hormone the healthy kidneys make. Most people don’t have problems with it–though some do. Aranesp is a slightly different protein, and the only other alternative that is currently on the market (Procrit is exactly the same drug as EPOGEN, but marketed by a different company). In the fall there may be another new product on the market, but for now, in the U.S. these two are it. Feeling “tired and run down and crappy” is pretty common in kidney disease, so it can be hard to sort out the side effects of a new drug from an escalation of the disease itself. Your mom might respond by paying close attention to her symptoms and talking with her doctor to see how to handle this.

Thanks Dori…

My husband felt really bad when he was given large doses of Epogen.(i.e. 20,000 units once a week). He slept for three days and couldn’t do anything. We went to 10,000 units twice and week and he had no problem.
(Doctors office would not do it. I had to be trained to give him the shots.)
She may be getting too large of a dose at once.
Now he has a good energy level without the crappy, tired, sleepy feeling. I have been giving him the shots for several years now.


I am doing research for my 90 year old mom who has cronic kidney failure. She is bed ridden and cannot make it to a doctor’s office three times a week for the Epogen shot. I read you gave your husband his shots. What medical plan did you use or what is the cost for the shot?

Hi Alabama,
We were on Caremark but just recently as of Jan 1, 2008 we were transferred to Cura Scripts which carries the injectable medication. (Not our choice). We pay a co-payment of $25.00 and shipping of $16.88. I don’t know what the cost will be with the new CuraScripts but it should be about the same.

Hi again Alabama,
The cost I stated is for 6 vials which is 12 shots which is a months supply of 3 times a week. Insurance is billed about $2800.00 per month.