Growth factors cause your bone marrow to produce more blood cells. They may be helpful for some patients, but they do not replace immunosuppressive therapy.

Red cell growth factor is called erythropoietin or EPO for short. It is a hormone naturally produced in the liver. Man-made forms of erythropoietin come in the brand names Epogen and Procrit. Darbapoietin, is similar to EPO, and comes in the brand name Aranesp.

These medicines have some risks. You and your doctor will work together to decide whether the benefits of these medicines outweigh the risks.