MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thalassaemia drug. Bottle and pills of the chelating agent Ferriprox (deferiprone). A chelating agent removes heavy metals. In this case it removes excess iron from the blood. This is a common condition in patients who have to undergo regular blood transfusions, for example patients with thalassaemia. Thalassaemia is an inherited condition where the red blood cells are fragile and easily damaged. There has been controversy over the side-effects of deferiprone, and as of 2007 it is licensed for use in Europe and Asia, but not the USA or Canada.
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