But, if you respond normally to ESAs, he said, the drugs may improve your quality of life when the medication is adjusted to keep your hemoglobin levels between 10 and 12.5 mg/dL.
Solomon said he wasn't sure if the modest benefit seen in patients was worth the potential increase in stroke risk. Provenzano countered that such a decision needs to be individualized based on the effects of the anemia, along with other aspects of the patient's life.
If you take this medication, Provenzano suggested asking your doctor where you fall on the continuum of response and whether you're in a high-risk group.
Learn more about anemia and kidney disease from the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
SOURCES: Scott Solomon, M.D., director, noninvasive cardiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and associate professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.; Robert Provenzano, M.D., chair, nephrology, St. John Providence Health System, Detroit, Mich.; Sept. 16, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine
All rights reserved