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Anagrelide (Agrylin®)

About This Drug

Anagrelide is used to treat increased platelets, a side effect of some cancers. It is given orally (by mouth).

Possible Side Effects

  • Headache
  • Abnormal heart beat
  • Increase in heart rate may occur. Your doctor will monitor your heart rate as needed.
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting)
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excess gas and/or indigestion
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • General swelling, swelling of your legs, ankles, and/or feet
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cough
  • Chest pain. Pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes.
  • Fever
  • Numbness, tingling and/or prickling sensation of your skin
  • Back pain
  • Pain
  • Rash and/or itching

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 5% or greater of patients treated with anagrelide. Not all possible side effects are included above.

​Warnings and Precautions

  • Severe abnormal heart beats, some of which could cause serious heart problems and even death. This is extremely rare.
  • Abnormal bleeding – symptoms may be coughing up blood, throwing up blood (may look like coffee grounds), red or black tarry bowel movements, abnormally heavy menstrual flow, nosebleeds or any other unusual bleeding.
  • Inflammation (swelling) of the lungs. You may have a dry cough or trouble breathing.

How to Take Your Medication

  • You can take the medicine with or without food.  
  • Missed dose: If you vomit or miss a dose, take your next dose at the regular time.  Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Handling: Wash your hands after handling your medicine, your caretakers should not handle your medicine with bare hands and should wear latex gloves.
  • Storage: Store this medicine in the original container at room temperature. Discuss with your nurse or your doctor how to dispose of unused medicine.

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
  • If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • If you get diarrhea, eat low-fiber foods that are high in protein and calories and avoid foods that can irritate your digestive tracts or lead to cramping.
  • Ask your nurse or doctor about medicine that can lessen or stop your diarrhea.
  • To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help or stop lessen these symptoms.
  • To help with excess gas, avoid gas-producing foods.
  • To help with decreased appetite, eat small, frequent meals.
  • Eat high caloric food such as pudding, ice cream, yogurt and milkshakes.
  • Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain. 
  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day. Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • If you are dizzy, get up slowly after sitting or lying.
  • Numbness, tingling, and/or prickling sensation of your skin.
  • To decrease your risk of bleeding, use a soft toothbrush. Check with your nurse before using dental floss.
  • Be very careful when using knives or tools.
  • Use an electric shaver instead of a razor.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of anagrelide with food.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and dietary supplements you are taking before starting this medicine as there are known drug interactions with anagrelide. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplement to make sure that there are no interactions.
  • There are known interactions of anagrelide with other medicines and products like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen.  Ask your doctor what over-the-counter (OTC) medicines you can take for fever, headache and muscle and joint pain. ​

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
  • Feeling Dizzy or Lightheaded
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • You cough up yellow, green, or bloody mucus
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Blood in your urine, vomit (bright red or coffee-ground) and/or stools ( bright red, or black/tarry)Coughing up blood
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) 4 times a day or loose bowel movements with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week 
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain may go away and come back or it can be constant. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes pain is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Pain that does not go away or is not relieved by prescribed medicine
  • Headache that does not go away
  • If you think you are pregnant 

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: It is not known if this drug may harm an unborn child.  For this reason, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while receiving this drug. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk.  For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breast feeding baby.
  • Fertility warning: Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.  Ask for information on sperm or egg banking. 

Revised June 2017

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