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Pharmacological group: glycoproteins; erythropoiesis stimulants Erythropoietin is a glycoprotein produced in the kidney that is responsible for stimulating the production of red blood cells. Epoetin alfa is a pharmaceutical form of erythropoietin made using recombinant DNA technology. The substance is made from animal cells into which the gene encoding human erythropoietin is inserted. The biological activity and structure of epoetin alfa do not differ from human erythropoietin. Epoetin alfa is used to treat various forms of anemia. The substance effectively stimulates and maintains erythropoiesis in most patients. The drug's efficacy quickly made it a ready-made replacement for older (less effective) drugs such as Anadrol. Aerobic athletes use darbepoetin to produce red blood cells. It is no secret that blood doping has been practiced in endurance sports for many years. This procedure involves the isolation of the athlete from the body and the subsequent storage of a certain amount of red blood cells for their further transfusion. When these cells are added to the body before the competition (by that time the body will have restored the lost blood volume), the athlete's blood contains an increased concentration of red blood cells. Consequently, the blood begins to carry oxygen more efficiently and the endurance of the athlete is significantly increased. The procedure can be quite risky, since the correct storage and use of blood is a rather complicated process. Epoetin alfa is a drug that basically meets the chemical doping of blood and can achieve the same goals (increase red blood cell concentrations) as with simple drugs.
Alternative names of steroids: Epogen, Erythropoietin, EPO, Eprex, Epoetin, Prokrit, NeoRecormon, Darbepoetin, Aranesp, Epogen, Erythrogen, Gemax, Hypercrit, Pronivel, Recormon, Kulat, Eripo, Eritina, Gemax-Erythron Bioein, Erlan, Epotin, Eposino, Dainepo, Epoetinum alpha.
Erythropoietin in sports
Erythropoietin is a common occurrence in sports: athletes depend on EPO because it is responsible for the production of red blood cells. It is no secret that among the sports that test the endurance of athletes, the so-called "blood doping" is widespread. This procedure involves removing some of the blood from the body in order to store it and then replace it. Right before the competition, athletes add stored blood to the body (the body by this time is just restoring the lost amount of blood), due to which they have a much larger number of red blood cells. Thus, the blood carries oxygen through the body much better, due to which the athlete receives a noticeable increase in endurance.
So the hormone erythroprotein is, undoubtedly, for many athletes a fine line between victory and defeat. However, the procedure involving erythropoietin doping is very risky. Blood is difficult to accumulate and difficult to manage, not to mention the problems that can occur as a result of too many red blood cells. Some of the risks are mitigated by EPO, a drug often equated with “chemical blood doping”. Storing and introducing blood may not be a concern, but red blood cell count problems can be very dangerous. If the drug is used incorrectly, the concentration of bodies can reach an extreme level, and this will threaten the athlete's life. He may have a heart attack, stroke, seizure; lethal cases are known.
There are also a number of side effects associated with the use of the hormone erythropoietin. Due to the change in the number of red blood cells, blood pressure can rise, followed by headaches. Moreover, symptoms similar to those of the flu appear: bones ache, there is a chill. Irritation at the injection site is possible. Since athletes are not using erythropoietin as directed by a physician, severe side effects should be a signal to stop using the drug. There is no need to risk your health for the sake of sports passion.
Erythropoietin is sold as an injectable liquid, and can be taken subcutaneously (between the skin and muscle) or intravenously. Each of these routes of administration has a different effect on blood pressure. Through intravenous administration, the peak blood pressure level is reached as quickly as possible. The half-life also does not last long, about 4-5 hours. When administered subcutaneously, the drug will raise the pressure to a maximum of 12 to 18 hours. In an equal dose, this concentration will be much lower than if it were administered intravenously. The half-life is also much longer, about a day. For clinical use, starting doses range from 15 to 50 units per kilogram of body weight three times a week. At this dosage, an athlete weighing 70 kg will receive a maximum of 4000 units in one injection, that is, 4 ml of the drug. Reception is designed for 2-3 days. Erythropoietin as a doping should be taken several days or weeks before the competition, the maximum effect will be obtained on the eve of the competition.
The person taking the hormone erythropoietin should familiarize himself with the pharmacokinetics of the drug long before starting Epogen. A specific dosing schedule should be created so that the athlete knows how best to take Epogen with each injection. The schedule will help avoid complications that may arise due to the fact that the dosage of the drug was unknowingly calculated at the last minute. The above dosage in many clinical cases can vary up to 100 units per kilogram at a time, but athletes should be very careful about the dosage. The possible side effects are very serious and should not be ignored. Remember, it is very important to monitor your blood cells while taking EPO. Keep your red blood cell count in the normal range to avoid serious complications.
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