Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond


(lus PAT er cept)

Trade Name(s): Reblozyl®

Luspatercept is the generic name for the trade name drug Reblozyl. In some cases, health care professionals may use the trade name or the generic when referring to the drug.

Drug Type: Luspatercept is a recombinant fusion protein. This medication is classified as a hematopoiesis agent (for more detail, see "How Luspatercept Works" below).

What Luspatercept Is Use For

  • Anemia (low blood cells) in adults with beta thalassemia who need regular red blood cell (RBC) transfusions.
  • Anemia in adults with myelodysplastic syndromes with ring rideroblasts (MDS-RS) or myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disorder with rind sideroblasts and thrombocytosis (MDS/MPN with RS and thrombocytosis) who need regular RBC transfusions and have not responded to an erythropoiesis stimulating agent.

Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.

How Luspatercept Is Given

  • Subcutaneous Administration (to the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen)

The amount of Luspatercept that you will receive depends on many factors, including your weight, your general health or other health problems, and the type of anemia you have. Your doctor will determine your exact dosage and schedule.

Side Effects

Important things to remember about the side effects of luspatercept:

  • Most people will not experience all of the luspatercept side effects listed.
  • Luspatercept side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration, and severity.
  • Most Luspatercept side effects will improve after therapy is complete.
  • There are many options to minimize or prevent the side effects of luspatercept.

The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking luspatercept:

These are less common side effects (occurring in 10-29%) for patients receiving luspatercept:

These are rare serious side effects for patients receiving luspatercept:

  • Blood Clots: may occur for patients with beta thalassemia during treatment with luspatercept. Call your health care provider if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or pain in your leg, with or without swelling, headache, weakness, slurred speech or confusion.
  • High Blood Pressure: your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure prior to starting luspatercept therapy. Your healthcare provider may prescribe you medicine to treat high blood pressure or increase the dose of medication you already take to treat high blood pressure during treatment.

Not all side effects are listed above. Side effects that are very rare -- occurring in less than about 10 percent of patients -- are not listed here. But you should always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.

When to Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider

Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.4º F (38º C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)

The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:

  • Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
  • Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
  • Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain or burning with urination 4
  • Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
  • Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)

Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.


  • Before starting luspatercept treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.). Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.
  • Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor’s approval while taking luspatercept.
  • Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. This drug must not be given to a pregnant woman or a woman who intends to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking luspatercept, stop taking the medication immediately and call your doctor for further instructions.
  • For both men and women: Use contraceptives, and do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking luspatercept. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are recommended for up to 3 months after last dose of luspatercept.
  • Do not breast feed while taking luspatercept.

Self-Care Tips

  • If you experience joint or muscle pain as a result of this medication, ask your healthcare provider if you may take mild pain medication to relieve this. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help
  • Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
  • Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
  • If you experience nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.
  • Follow regimen of anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your health care professional.
  • Eat foods that may help reduce diarrhea (see managing side effects - diarrhea).
  • Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 30 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
  • In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Maintain good nutrition.
  • If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.

Monitoring and Testing While Taking Luspatercept

You will be checked regularly by your doctor while you are taking luspatercept, to monitor side effects and check your response to therapy. Periodic blood work will be obtained to monitor your complete blood count (CBC) as well as the function of other organs (such as your kidneys and liver) will also be ordered by your doctor.

How Luspatercept Works

Activin Receptor Ligand Trap/Hematopoietic Agent:

Luspatercept is a recombinant fusion protein that contains a modified form of the extracellular domain of the human activin receptor. It binds several molecules in the transforming growth factor- beta super family which results in reduced signaling. Inhibition of this family results in increased expression of blood cell precursors and improves parameters associated with ineffective production of red blood cells.

Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice. is designed to provide the latest information about chemotherapy to patients and their families, caregivers and friends. For information about the 4th Angel Mentoring Program visit