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( an-AG-gre-lide )
Other Name(s): Agrylin®
Appearance: capsule

Medication Information Sheet
anagrelide (an-AG-gre-lide)
This document provides general information about your medication. It does not replace the advice of your health care professional. Always discuss your therapy with your health care professional and refer to the package insert for more details.

Other Name: Agrylin®


What is this medication for?
  • For treating a condition where there are too many platelets in the blood. Platelets help blood to clot. 

What should I do before I have this medication?
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you have or had significant medical condition(s) such as:
    • liver problems
    • kidney problems
    • lung problems
    • heart problems, including irregular heartbeat
    • low salt levels (for example, potassium, magnesium, calcium) in your blood 
    • any allergies
  • This drug contains a small amount of lactose. If you cannot tolerate lactose, talk to your health care team.
  • Patients with too many platelets have a higher risk of getting blood clots or some types of cancers. Some treatments may increase this risk. Discuss this with your health care team.
How will this medication affect sex, pregnancy and breastfeeding?
  • The use of this medication in men or women may cause harm to the unborn baby if pregnancy occurs. Let your health care team know if you or your partner is pregnant, becomes pregnant during treatment, or if you are breastfeeding.
  • If there is any chance that you or your partner may become pregnant, you and your partner together must: 
    • ► Use 2 effective forms of birth control at the same time while taking this drug. Keep using birth control for at least 6 months after your last dose unless your health care team told you differently. Talk to your health care team to figure out the best method(s) for you and/or your partner.
  • Do not breastfeed while using this drug.
  • This medication may affect fertility (ability to get pregnant)
How is this medication given?
  • Swallow whole with a glass of water, with or without food.
  • Do not crush or open the capsules.
  • Anagrelide is usually taken multiple times a day.  
  • Take it exactly as directed by your doctor.  Make sure you understand the instructions.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose as scheduled.  Do not take 2 doses at the same time. ​
What else do I need to know while on this medication?
  • This medication can interact with other medications and can result in the treatment not working as well or cause severe side effects.

  • Make sure your health care team knows about all your medications (prescription, over-the-counter, herbals and supplements). Check with your health care team before starting or stopping any of them.

  • For mild aches and pain:

    • You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) tablets. Ask your health care team about the right dose for you. 
    • Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®) or aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, ASA), including low dose aspirin for heart conditions, may increase your chance of bleeding.
    • Talk to your health care team before you start or stop these medications.
    • If you feel unwell, take your temperature before taking any of these medications. They may hide a fever. 
    • Talk to your health care team or go to the closest emergency room right away if you have a fever.  See the Fever pamphlet for more information.
  • Drinking alcohol and smoking during your treatment may increase some side effects and make your medication less effective. Speak to your health care team about smoking and drinking alcohol while on treatment.

  • Do not eat or drink grapefruit, grapefruit juice and related products while taking this drug.  They may increase the amount of drug in your blood and increase side effects.
How should I safely store this medication?
  • Keep this medication in the original packaging at room temperature in a dry place, away from heat and light. Keep out of sight and reach of children and pets.

  • Do not throw out any unused medications at home. Bring them to your pharmacy to be thrown away safely.

What are the side effects of this medication?

You may not have all of the side effects below. You may have side effects that are not listed.

Side effects and what to do When to contact doctor?
Common Side Effects (25 to 49 out of 100 people)

Headache; mild joint, muscle pain or cramps 

  • Take your pain medication as prescribed by your doctor.
  • You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) tablets as needed for mild aches and pains. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the right dose for you.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist first before taking ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®) or aspirin. These medication may increase bleeding risk.
  • Rest often and try light exercise as it may help.


Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe


May happen days to weeks after you get your treatment.

If you have diarrhea :

  • Take anti-diarrhea medication if your health care team prescribed it.
  • Avoid foods or drinks with artificial sweetener (e.g. chewing gum, “diet” drinks), coffee and alcohol.
  • Eat many small meals and snacks instead of 2 or 3 large meals.
  • Drink at least 6 to 8 cups of liquids each day. Talk to your health care team if you can’t drink 6-8 cups of liquids each day when you have diarrhea. You may need special liquids with salt and sugar, called Oral Rehydration Therapy.

​See the Diarrhea pamphlet for more information.


Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Pounding or irregular heartbeat

•    Talk to your health care team right away or get emergency medical help if your heartbeat is irregular, unusually fast or you have chest discomfort/pain, severe shortness of breath, feel faint (pass out) or very dizzy 



Side effects and what to do When to contact doctor?
Less Common Side Effects (10 to 24 out of 100 people)

Fatigue (tiredness)

  • Be active and aim to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise (you are able to talk comfortably while exercising) on most days. Check with your health care team before starting any new exercise.
  • Pace yourself, do not rush. Put off less important activities. Rest when you need to.
  • Eat well and stay hydrated by drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water or other liquids every day (unless your doctor told you to drink more or less).
  • Avoid driving or using machinery if you are feeling tired

See our Fatigue pamphlet for more information. 

Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Mild swelling in arms and legs; puffiness

To help prevent swelling :

  • Eat a low-salt diet.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothing.

If you have swelling in your legs, keep your feet up when sitting.


Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Pains or cramps in the belly

  • If you have constipation or diarrhea it may be causing the pain in your belly.
  • If the pain is severe, gets worse or doesn’t go away, talk to your health care team about other possible causes.


Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Nausea and vomiting (generally mild)
May occur in hours to days after your treatment. 

If you have nausea or vomiting:

  • Take anti-nausea medication(s) as prescribed to you by your doctor. 
  • Drink clear liquids and have small meals. Get fresh air and rest.
  • Do not eat spicy, fried foods or foods with a strong smell.
  • Limit caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea) and alcohol.
  • Contact your health care team if the prescribed anti-nausea medications are not helping to control your nausea and vomiting.

 Also see Nausea & Vomiting pamphlet for more information.

Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe


  • You may feel light headed.
  • Lay down if this happens.
  • Get up and move slowly once you feel better.
  • Do not drive a motor vehicle or use machinery if you feel dizzy.
Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Cough; feeling short of breath

You may have cough and feel short of breath without any signs of infection, such as a sore throat or a stuffed nose.

Rarely this may be severe with chest pain, trouble breathing or coughing up blood.  If this happens get medical help right away.

Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Passing gas

You may have bloating, pain in your belly and pass gas.

Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Other rare, but serious side effects are possible.
If you experience ANY of the following, speak to your cancer health care provider or get emergency medical help right away:

  • yellowish skin or eyes, unusually dark pee or pain on the right side of your belly
  • swelling in your legs, ankles and belly, chest pain that may spread to your arm
  • pain, swelling and hardening of a vein in your arm or leg
  • passing very little or no pee, gaining weight that is new or unusual
  • confusion, sudden loss of vision, trouble speaking or using your arms or legs
  • vomiting blood or what looks like coffee-grounds
  • having black stools (poo) or stools with bright-red blood 

For more links on how to manage your symptoms go to

The information set out in the medication information sheets, regimen information sheets, and symptom management information (for patients) contained in the Drug Formulary (the "Formulary") is intended to be used by health professionals and patients for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or side effects of a certain drug, nor should it be used to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for a given condition.

A patient should always consult a healthcare provider if he/she has any questions regarding the information set out in the Formulary. The information in the Formulary is not intended to act as or replace medical advice and should not be relied upon in any such regard. All uses of the Formulary are subject to clinical judgment and actual prescribing patterns may not follow the information provided in the Formulary.