Aranesp

Aranesp

SHORT ARANESP DESCRIPTION:

Aranesp is an erythropoiesis-stimulating drug, very similar in structure and action to the body’s own endogenous Erythropoietin. Aranesp differs from the recombinant human Erythropoietin in Epogen (Epoetin Alfa) mainly in its duration of activity. This new protein maintains its levels in the blood for approximately three times longer, which is an extremely significant difference. Aranesp dosage is one injection each week.

LONG ARANESP DESCRIPTION:

Aranesp is an erythropoiesis-stimulating drug, very similar in structure and action to the body’s own endogenous Erythropoietin. It is manufactured by Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnologies company. In fact, it is also the same company that first brought recombinant Erythropoietin (Epoetin Alfa) to the market in 1984. In structure Darbepoetin Alfa differs from human Erythropoietin only slightly, and has all the same biological activity. Human Erythropoietin is normally released by the kidneys in response to hypoxia, or low blood oxygen levels. It in turn triggers bone marrow to increase red blood cell production, and is likewise vital to the regulation of normal red blood cell concentrations. Darbepoetin Alfa can likewise be used to augment erythropoiesis when the body is not maintaining adequate red blood cell levels on its own. It is approved by the FDA for the treatment of anemia (low red blood cell count) specifically associated with chronic renal failure or chemotherapy.

Aranesp differs from the recombinant human Erythropoietin in Epogen (Epoetin Alfa) mainly in its duration of activity. This new protein maintains its levels in the blood for approximately three times longer, which is an extremely significant difference. This means that with Aranesp, patients are required to administer the product much less frequently. While Epogen is usually given on a schedule of three times a week, Aranesp requires only one injection each week. This course enhances patient comfort quite a bit, and is especially useful when the patient is visiting the doctor for drug administration. Studies comparing this form of therapy to the use of standard recombinant Erythropoietin note that users need approximately the same amount of drug, it is just given in larger doses with more time between applications.

Erythropoiesis stimulating drugs are very popular in endurance sports, such as long distance running and cycling. In these sports maximum oxygen carrying capacity is of paramount importance to the performance of the athlete. We are all too familiar with the decades old practice of manually removing and later reinfusing blood plasma for the sake of increasing red blood cell count and endurance capacity for a sport, commonly referred to as “blood doping”. Drugs like Aranesp and Epogen accomplish the same thing as this decades old practice, and are essentially just new forms of “chemical blood doping”. In practice they can be just as effective as their antiquated counterpart, even more so. These agents are also used at times in bodybuilding circles, where the erythropoiesis stimulating effect may help bring out a greater look of masculinity when the body fat percentage is sufficiently low. It is likewise more of a “pre-contest” drug.

While Aranesp and Epogen can be just as effective as the practice of blood doping, be warned that these drugs can also be just as dangerous. A number of athlete deaths have been attributed to the use of these agents over the past several years, caused by an over-thickening of the blood due to abnormally high red cell concentrations. One must take extreme caution when using these drugs, making sure to meticulously measure red blood cell counts to be sure that the drug is not having an effect that could turn out to be life threatening. Take note also that Aranesp is now detectable during urine analysis, making it unsafe for drug-tested sports.

Aranesp comes in the dosage strengths of 25, 40, 60, 100, 200 and 300 mcg/ml. When shopping, you will quickly learn that this is not a cheap drug. Due to the high cost for the new erythropoiesis stimulating agents, they are often the targets of counterfeit drug manufacturing operations. But these operations cater not to the black market like underground steroid makers, but push their drugs through legitimate channels – into the pharmacies where they are sold to unsuspecting consumers, often with diluted dosages. This has been a big issues as of late, suggesting that it may be a good idea to get your scripts filled (if you get them) thorough the larger pharmacy chains, which are unlikely to purchase their drugs through pharmaceutical wholesalers.

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