Jadenu (Deferasirox) – Oral

Warning:

Jadenu may cause sudden kidney problems, including kidney failure that requires dialysis and even death. You may be at an increased risk if you already have kidney problems or other health conditions, take certain medications or if your blood disorder is at an advanced stage. Your healthcare provider will monitor your kidney function before starting Jadenu and during treatment. Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop vomiting, diarrhea, or fever and have trouble keeping fluids down or if you notice you're passing less urine than usual.


Jadenu may cause liver problems, including liver failure and death. You may be at an increased risk if you are over 55 years old, but liver problems have also occurred in children. Having liver cirrhosis or problems with other organs also increases your chance of developing liver complications. Your healthcare provider will check your liver function with a blood test before starting Jadenu and during treatment. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you develop drowsiness, pain in the upper right part of your stomach, dark-colored urine, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or the white parts of your eyes).

Jadenu may cause bleeding, ulcers, or tears in the stomach or intestines, which can lead to death. Older adults with advanced blood cancers or low platelet counts may be at an increased risk. Certain medications can also increase your risk of bleeding, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), blood thinners, corticosteroids (steroids) and certain medicines for osteoporosis. Let your healthcare provider know about all the medicines you take so that they can determine if Jadenu is a safe treatment option for you.

What Is Jadenu?

Jadenu (deferasirox) is a prescription medication used to treat chronic iron overload (a condition in which the body stores too much iron) in people who receive ongoing blood transfusions. Healthcare providers also prescribe Jadenu to treat chronic iron overload in people with certain types of thalassemia (an inherited blood disorder causing the body to have less hemoglobin, a property that enables the red blood cells to carry oxygen) who do not require blood transfusions.

Jadenu belongs to a group of drugs called iron chelators. It lowers iron levels by binding to iron and helping your body eliminate it (primarily through the feces).

Jadenu is available as oral tablets or granule packets (Jadenu Sprinkle) that you can sprinkle on soft food before consuming. This is a good option for children or adults who have difficulty swallowing pills. Also be sure to keep your healthcare provider informed of any weight changes as your dose may need to be adjusted based on weight loss or gain.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Deferasirox

Brand Names: Jadenu, Jadenu Sprinkle

Drug Availability: Prescription

Therapeutic Classification: Iron chelator

Available Generically: Yes

Controlled Substance: N/A

Administration Route: Oral

Active Ingredient: Deferasirox

Dosage Forms: Oral tablet, oral granule packet

What Is Jadenu Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Jadenu to treat the following conditions:

  • Chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions in people two years and older
  • Chronic iron overload in people 10 years and older with certain types of thalassemia that do not require blood transfusions

If you have certain health conditions (e.g., sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder; myelodysplastic syndrome, a group of cancers preventing blood cells in the bone marrow from maturing; and certain types of thalassemia), you may require regular blood transfusions to keep you healthy. Because blood transfusions contain iron, your iron levels may become too high. Excess iron can build up in your organs and lead to health complications, including heart and liver problems. Iron chelators, like Jadenu, decrease your iron levels by binding to iron and eliminating it from your body.

How to Take Jadenu

Jadenu is available as oral tablets and granule packets called Jadenu Sprinkle. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions for how much Jadenu to take. Take your dose of Jadenu once daily at the same time each day. You may take Jadenu on an empty stomach or with a light meal (less than 7% fat and fewer than 250 calories). Do not take Jadenu with antacids that contain aluminum.

If your healthcare provider has prescribed Jadenu tablets, swallow the tablets with water or another liquid. If you have trouble swallowing pills, you may crush the tablets and mix them with soft food, like yogurt or applesauce. Be sure to swallow the mixture immediately; do not save it for later.

If you use the granule packets (Jadenu Sprinkle), sprinkle your dose onto soft food (e.g., yogurt or applesauce) and swallow the mixture immediately.

Storage

Store Jadenu at room temperature (around 77 degrees Fahrenheit) in a dry area, away from moisture (not in the bathroom). It is OK to take the tablets with you on short trips out of the house in temperatures ranging from 59 degrees to 86 degrees.

Keep Jadenu and all your medicines in a safe location, out of the reach of children and pets. 


How Long Does Jadenu Take to Work

Jadenu begins to lower your iron levels the first day you start treatment. Your healthcare provider will track your levels with a blood test each month and adjust your dose as needed to keep your iron levels in a healthy range. 

What Are the Side Effects of Jadenu?

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A medical professional can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a medical professional. You may report side effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

You may experience side effects while taking Jadenu. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects that bother you or don't go away. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Abnormal kidney function blood test

Severe Side Effects

Jadenu may cause several serious side effects. Be sure to review your prescription's warnings each time you pick up your prescription and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop a serious side effect. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or you think you are having a medical emergency. 

Serious side effects and their symptoms include:

Kidney problems, including kidney failure requiring dialysis (the use of machines to perform the functions of the kidneys, including filtering your blood) and death. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea and have trouble drinking fluids. This could lead to dehydration (losing more fluid than you take in) and increase your risk of kidney problems. Also let your healthcare provider know if you are passing less urine than usual.

Liver problems, including liver failure and death. Call your healthcare provider if you notice any signs of liver problems, including drowsiness, dark-colored urine, yellowing of your skin or the white parts of your eyes, or pain in the upper right part of your stomach.

Bleeding, ulcers, and tears of the stomach or intestines, which can be serious and lead to death. Get medical help right away if you vomit blood, have black or bloody stools, or develop severe stomach pain.

Effects on your bone marrow, which can decrease your white blood cell or platelet levels or worsen your anemia. These effects can be serious and lead to death. Your healthcare provider will perform regular blood tests to monitor your blood cell levels.

Allergic reactions, including a severe form called anaphylaxis. Allergic reactions are most common within the first month of treatment. Seek medical care right away if you develop:

  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Chest pain or a fast heartbeat
  • Light-headedness
  • Swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat
  • Severe itching with a skin rash or bumps
  • Hives

Severe skin reactions, which can sometimes be life-threatening and lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have signs and symptoms of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a severe disorder of the skin and mucous membranes), toxic epidermal necrolysis (a life-threatening skin disorder causing peeling and blistering skin), or a drug reaction with eosinophilia (high white blood cell levels) and systemic symptoms, which may include:

  • Skin redness or peeling
  • A rash
  • Blisters on your lips or around your mouth or eyes
  • Mouth sores
  • A fever or flu-like symptoms
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

Hearing and vision problems, including hearing loss and cataracts. Your healthcare provider will perform hearing and vision tests before starting Jadenu and during treatment. Let your healthcare provider know if you notice any changes in your hearing or vision.

Report Side Effects

Jadenu may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication. 

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Jadenu Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For chronic iron overload after blood transfusions:
    • For oral dosage forms (granules, tablets):
      • Adults and children 2 years of age and older—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 14 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 28 mg per kg per day.
      • Children younger than 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage form (tablet for suspension):
      • Adults and children 2 years of age and older—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 20 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 40 mg per kg per day.
      • Children younger than 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For chronic iron overload in non-transfusion dependent thalassemia syndrome:
    • For oral dosage forms (granules, tablets):
      • Adults and children 10 years of age and older—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 7 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 14 mg per kg per day.
      • Children younger than 10 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage form (tablet for suspension):
      • Adults and children 10 years of age and older—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 10 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 20 mg per kg per day.
      • Children younger than 10 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Modifications

People who have difficulty swallowing their doses may benefit from the granules, which you can sprinkle on soft foods before consuming.

In some cases, your healthcare provider may modify how much Jadenu you take or monitor you more closely during the treatment.

Pregnancy: Jadenu has not been studied in pregnant individuals, and it is not known if Jadenu can harm a fetus. However, based on animal studies, Jadenu may cause harm to the fetus. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before starting it. Jadenu may cause hormonal birth control to be less effective. Discuss your birth control options with your healthcare provider.

Breastfeeding: It is not known whether Jadenu passes into breast milk or if it can harm your baby. Therefore, you should not breastfeed while taking Jadenu. Talk with your healthcare provider and pediatrician about the best way to feed your baby.

Children: Parents should monitor children closely if they become sick (e.g., fever, vomiting, diarrhea) while taking Jadenu since they may have trouble keeping fluids down. Dehydration increases the risk of developing kidney problems from Jadenu. Call your child's healthcare provider if your child becomes sick.

Older Adults: Older adults (aged 65 years and older) are more likely to experience side effects from Jadenu compared with younger adults. Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely and adjust your dose as needed to limit adverse reactions.

Missed Dose

If you forget to take your dose of Jadenu, take it as soon as you remember. If it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up or take extra Jadenu.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Jadenu?

Taking too much Jadenu can cause problems. You may develop nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Liver problems and kidney injury requiring dialysis can also occur. It is important that you only take your prescribed dose of Jadenu. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are unsure.

What Happens If I Overdose on Jadenu?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Jadenu, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222). 

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Jadenu, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have bloody urine, a decrease in frequency or amount of urine, an increase in blood pressure, increased thirst, loss of appetite, lower back or side pain, nausea, swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs, troubled breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, vomiting, or weight gain. These may be symptoms of a serious kidney problem.

Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have abdominal or stomach pain, cramping, or burning, black, tarry stools, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, or vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds. These may be symptoms of a serious stomach or bowel problem.

Deferasirox will lower the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema. These can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have blistering, peeling, or red skin rash, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.

Deferasirox may cause some people to have hearing and vision problems within a few weeks after they start using it. If you notice any problems with your or your child's hearing or vision, such as blurred vision, difficulty with night vision, or difficulty with seeing colors, check with your doctor right away.

If you have diarrhea or vomiting, drink plenty of water or fluids to keep your body hydrated.

This medicine may make you dizzy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

Birth control pills may not work while you are using this medicine. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control such as condoms, diaphragms, or contraceptive foams or jellies.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements. Do not take this medicine with aluminum-containing antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®).

What Are Reasons I Shouldn't Take Jadenu?

Certain conditions can increase your risk of developing complications from Jadenu. Do not take Jadenu if you have:

  • Certain kidney problems
  • Poor performance status (being unable to do usual work activities)
  • High-risk myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Advanced cancer
  • Low platelet levels
  • An allergy to deferasirox or any other ingredient in Jadenu

Be sure to let your healthcare provider know about all your medical conditions and allergies so they can determine if Jadenu is a safe treatment option for you.

What Other Medications Interact With Jadenu?

Many medications may interact with Jadenu. Let your healthcare provider and pharmacist know about all your medicines, including over-the-counter (OTC) and nonprescription products (including vitamins, herbal medicines, and supplements).

Some medicines can make Jadenu less effective, including:

  • Antacids containing aluminum
  • Colestid (colestipol) 
  • Dilantin (phenytoin)
  • Norvir (ritonavir)
  • Questran (cholestyramine)
  • Rifadin (rifampin)
  • Welchol (colesevelam)

Jadenu can raise levels of some drugs, increasing your risk of side effects. Your healthcare provider may monitor you more closely or change your medication. Let your healthcare provider know if you take:

  • Busulfex or Myerlan (busulfan)
  • Caffeine
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) 
  • Lotronex (alosetron) 
  • Melatonin
  • Prandin (repaglinide)
  • Rozerem (ramelteon) 
  • Taxol (paclitaxel)
  • Theo-24 (theophylline) 
  • Zanaflex (tizanidine) 

Jadenu can decrease levels of certain medicines and make them less effective, including hormonal birth control. Let your healthcare provider know if you take:

  • Afinitor (everolimus)
  • Brilinta (ticagrelor)
  • BuSpar (buspirone)
  • Emend (aprepitant)
  • Enablex (darifenacin)
  • Entocort (budesonide)
  • Felendil (felodipine)
  • Fentanyl
  • Flonase (fluticasone)
  • Halcion (triazolam)
  • Hormonal birth control (talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to prevent pregnancy)
  • Inspra (eplerenone)
  • Latuda (lurasidone)
  • Levitra or Staxin (vardenafil)
  • Lovastatin
  • Medicines for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Migraine medicines
  • Nayzilam (midazolam)
  • Neoral (cyclosporine)
  • Orap (pimozide)
  • Prograf (tacrolimus)
  • Quinidex (quinidine)
  • Rapamune (sirolimus)
  • Samsca (tolvaptan)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Sprycel (dasatinib)
  • Sular (nisoldipine)
  • Vaprisol (conivaptan)
  • Zocor (simvastatin)

This is not a complete list of all the drugs that may interact with Jadenu. Always keep an up-to-date list of all the medicines you take, and share this information with your healthcare provider and pharmacist any time there are changes.

What Medications Are Similar?

Jadenu is an iron chelator. It binds to iron and helps lower iron levels in your body. Other iron chelators include:

  • Desferal (deferoxamine)
  • Exjade (deferasirox)
  • Ferriprox (deferiprone)

Desferal was the first iron chelator available to treat chronic iron overload. Unlike Jadenu, Desferal must be administered under the skin (subcutaneously) using a portable infusion pump.

Most people require Desferal treatment at least five days per week, with each infusion lasting eight to 10 hours. While effective, Desferal administration is not convenient, and some people experience pain from the infusion. Therefore, some people have trouble sticking to this treatment regimen.

Exjade is an oral iron chelator that contains the same active ingredient as Jadenu. Unlike Jadenu, Exjade comes as oral dispersible tablets that must be mixed with liquid and taken on an empty stomach.

Ferriprox is another oral iron chelator. Unlike Exjade and Jadenu, Ferriprox must be taken three times per day. Some studies have found that Ferriprox does a better job removing iron from the heart than Desferal.

Your healthcare provider will determine the best iron chelation therapy for you based on many factors, including your age, health conditions, and other medications you take. In some cases, a combination of two iron chelators may be necessary to help keep your iron in a healthy range.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Jadenu used for?

    Jadenu is used to treat chronic iron overload in people with conditions that require regular blood transfusions. Jadenu also helps lower iron levels in people with certain types of thalassemia that do not require blood transfusions.

  • How does Jadenu work?

    Jadenu is an iron chelator. It works by binding to iron and removing it from your body, primarily through your stool.

  • What are the side effects of Jadenu?

    The most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and skin rashes.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Jadenu?

Blood transfusions can keep you healthy if you have certain conditions like thalassemia or sickle cell disease. But blood contains iron, and too much iron can lead to problems with your heart, liver, and other organs. Fortunately, iron chelators like Jadenu can help lower your iron levels and allow you to receive blood transfusions safely. 

Because Jadenu can cause several serious side effects, it's important to review the warnings associated with Jadenu each time you pick up your prescription. Talk with your healthcare provider about any concerns and discuss the warning signs to look out for. Quickly recognizing and treating a reaction as soon as it occurs can help keep you healthy.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

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