Cardiovascular disease: This medication often affects blood pressure and can contribute to symptoms of heart disease. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease such as heart failure, angina, or a previous heart attack, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. If you are taking blood pressure pills to control blood pressure, it is important to continue taking them regularly while you are on epoetin alfa. Your doctor will monitor your hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen) until an appropriate dose of epoetin alfa has been determined.
Acne is often present. Acne conglobata is a particularly severe form of acne that can develop during steroid abuse or even after the drug has been discontinued. Infections are a common side effect of steroid abuse because of needle sharing and unsanitary techniques used when injecting the drugs into the skin. These are similar risks to IV drug abusers with increased potential to acquire blood-borne infections such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS . Skin abscesses may occur at injection sites and may spread to other organs of the body. Endocarditis or an infection of the heart valves is not uncommon.