|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|Mol. mass||560.684 g/mol|
|Half life||6 hours|
|Routes||Oral, IV, IM, SQ|
Deferoxamine (also known as desferrioxamine, desferoxamine, DFO, DFOA or desferal) is a chelating agent used to remove excess iron from the body. It acts by binding free iron in the bloodstream and enhancing its elimination in the urine. By removing excess iron, the agent reduces the damage done to various organs and tissues, such as the liver.
Deferoxamine is used to treat acute iron poisoning, especially in small children. Treatment with this agent is also frequently necessary to treat hemochromatosis, a disease of iron accumulation that can be either genetic or acquired. Acquired hemochromatosis is common in patients with certain types of chronic anemia (e.g. thalassemia and myelodysplastic syndrome) who require many blood transfusions, which can greatly increase the amount of iron in the body. Administration for chronic conditions is generally accomplished by subcutaneous injection (SQ) over a period of 8-12 hours daily. Administration of deferoxamine after acute intoxication may color the urine a pinkish red, a phenomenon termed "'vin rose urine".
Apart from in iron toxicity, deferoxamine is also used to treat aluminum toxicity (an excess of aluminum in the body) in certain patients.