Long-term safety and tolerability of romiplostim in patients with primary immune thrombocytopenia: a pooled analysis of 13 clinical trials

Eur J Haematol. 2013 Nov;91(5):423-36. doi: 10.1111/ejh.12181. Epub 2013 Sep 17.


Background and objectives: Thrombopoietin receptor agonists (TPOra) are the only treatments for immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) for which evidence of efficacy and safety from randomized, placebo-controlled trials is available. We sought to determine the long-term tolerability of the TPOra romiplostim, with a particular focus on thrombosis, bleeding, bone marrow (BM) reticulin, neoplasms/haematological malignancies and fatal events.

Methods: Data from 13 romiplostim clinical trials in which 653 patients with ITP received romiplostim for up to 5 yr (921.5 patient-years) were pooled; subject incidence rates and exposure-adjusted event rates (per 100 patient-years) were calculated.

Results: The rate of thrombotic events (6% of patients, 7.5 events per 100 patient-years) did not appear to increase over time; 9 events were associated with platelet counts >400 × 10(9) /L and 10 with romiplostim doses exceeding current recommendations. Serious and grade ≥3 bleeding each occurred in approximately 8% of patients (~11 events per 100 patient-years). Adverse events of BM reticulin were recorded for 12 patients (1.8%, 1.3 events per 100 patient-years, confirmed by bone biopsy in ten patients) and BM collagen for one patient (0.2%, 0.1 event per 100 patient-years, confirmed by trichrome staining). Neoplasms and haematological malignancies occurred in 2.1% and 0.8% of patients, respectively (2.2 and 0.7 events per 100 patient-years). Fatal events occurred in 3.7% of patients (2.6 events per 100 patient-years, four events treatment-related).

Conclusions: Romiplostim is the TPOra for which the longest duration of safety data is available. Our data demonstrate that long-term romiplostim treatment is well tolerated, with no new safety signals, even in patients treated for up to 5 yr.

Keywords: adverse events; immune thrombocytopenia; review; romiplostim.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / etiology
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Count
  • Prospective Studies
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / drug therapy*
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / metabolism
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / pathology
  • Receptors, Fc / administration & dosage*
  • Receptors, Thrombopoietin / agonists
  • Receptors, Thrombopoietin / metabolism
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / adverse effects
  • Reticulin / metabolism
  • Thrombopoietin / administration & dosage*
  • Thrombopoietin / adverse effects
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Thrombosis / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Receptors, Fc
  • Receptors, Thrombopoietin
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Reticulin
  • Thrombopoietin
  • romiplostim