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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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Procrit
Aug 8, 2000

Hello. I have been HIV positive for 2 years, I am feeling well and I am not taking any meds. Recently, my red blood cell count was low so I have been taking iron supplements. I heard that procrit improves red blood cell counts. I am wondering if taking a drug like procrit would prevent anemia, or is procrit only used to treat anemia, not prevent it? Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

If your red cell count is low you are already anemic! Certainly one potential cause of anemia is iron deficiency. If your iron supplements haven't returned your red cell count back to normal there may be other factors contributing to your anemia –- like HIV itself. Procrit stimulates your system to make new red blood cells. If your red blood cell count is normal then there is no need for Procrit as there is no need for additional red cells. If however your counts are low Procrit may be extremely useful. Try to determine the exact cause or causes of your anemia. Also check to see if the current therapy has really returned things to normal. Treatment to correct anemia in the setting of HIV disease has been shown to significantly improve energy, quality of life and has even been associated with improved survival.

Best of luck!

RJF


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