Epoetin alfa



Drug updated on 4/17/2024

Dosage FormInjection (intravenous/subcutaneous; 2,000 Units/mL, 3,000 Units/mL, 4,000 Units/mL, and 10,000 Units/mL in a single dose vial, 20,000 Units/2mL [10,000 Units/mL] and 20,000 Units/mL in multiple-dose vials containing benzyl alcohol)
Drug ClassErythropoiesis-stimulating agents
Ongoing and
Completed Studies


  • Indicated for the treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients on dialysis and not on dialysis.
  • Indicated for the treatment of anemia due to zidovudine in patients with HIV-infection.
  • Indicated for the treatment of anemia due to the effects of concomitant myelosuppressive chemotherapy, and upon initiation, there is a minimum of two additional months of planned chemotherapy.
  • Indicated for the reduction of allogeneic RBC transfusions in patients undergoing elective, noncardiac, nonvascular surgery.

Latest News

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  • Epoetin alfa (Epogen) is indicated for the treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney disease, zidovudine in HIV-infected patients, and myelosuppressive chemotherapy. It also reduces the need for allogeneic RBC transfusions in patients undergoing elective surgery.
  • Six studies were reviewed which compared epoetin alfa with other erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), including roxadustat and HIF-PHIs.
  • The studies suggest that epoetin alfa may be superior to placebo in preventing blood transfusions among CKD patients, but its effects on mortality are uncertain. Compared to roxadustat or HIF-PHIs, it shows a clear benefit in reducing the need for transfusions, but unresolved safety concerns regarding cardiovascular outcomes exist.
  • Roxadustat appears effective at managing anemia by increasing hemoglobin levels without significant adverse events versus ESAs or placebo, except a higher incidence of serious TEAEs was observed among non-dialysis-dependent CKD patients.
  • Biosimilars of epoetin alfa demonstrate comparable efficacy and safety as the original biologics when treating chemotherapy-induced anemia, suggesting they could serve as viable alternatives within oncology supportive care settings.
  • While Epogen remains a cornerstone treatment for certain types of anemias, emerging alternatives like roxadustat present new options with distinct advantages, especially among subgroups such as non-dialysis-dependent CKD patients. However, the specific safety concerns associated with each drug option must be considered.

Product Monograph / Prescribing Information

Document TitleYearSource
Epogen (epoetin alfa) Prescribing Information.2018Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA

Systematic Reviews / Meta-Analyses

Clinical Practice Guidelines