In severe cases of anemia, EPO levels in the blood may be a thousand times higher than normal. Unusually low levels may be because of polycythemia vera. This is a bone marrow disorder that causes your body to make too many red blood cells. Low EPO levels may also mean you have kidney disease.
What is EPO drug used for?
Erythropoietin (EPO) is a hormone naturally produced by the kidneys. However, this hormone can be artificially produced to improve the performance of, for example, athletes or cyclists by injection. Its overall effect is to increase endurance and, in athletics, it is used mainly by long distance-runners.
How does erythropoietin work in the body?
Erythropoietin stimulates the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. The resulting rise in red cells increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. As the prime regulator of red cell production, erythropoietin's major functions are to: Promote the development of red blood cells.