Alemtuzumab

This form:

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Warning

This medication may cause very serious (rarely fatal) blood disorders (low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets). This effect can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, or cause easy bruising/bleeding. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat, swollen lymph nodes), easy bruising/bleeding, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, unusual tiredness, fast/pounding heartbeat.

This medication may also cause very serious kidney problems. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms such as change in the amount of urine, painful urination, pink/bloody urine, or swelling ankles/feet.

This medication may cause very serious (rarely fatal) infusion-related reactions. (See also Side Effects section.)

This medication may also cause a stroke, or tears in the blood vessels in the head and neck, especially within the first 3 days after receiving treatment. Get medical help right away if you notice symptoms such as weakness on one side of the body, drooping of the face, neck pain, sudden severe headache, trouble speaking, sudden vision changes, or confusion.

This medication may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer (such as thyroid, skin, blood). Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms such as unusual growth or lump in the neck, difficulty swallowing, unusual/lasting hoarseness, unusual skin changes, change in appearance or size of moles.

Your doctor will monitor you closely to decrease the risk of these serious side effects.

For patients to receive this medication, all doctors, pharmacists, and patients must agree to, understand, and carefully follow the requirements of the Lemtrada REMS Program. These requirements apply in the United States. If you live in Canada or any other country, consult your doctor and pharmacist for your country's regulations.

Precautions

Before receiving alemtuzumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: immune system problems (such as HIV), recent/current infections (such as tuberculosis), bleeding/blood problems, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, kidney problems, heart problems, thyroid problems.

This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Before receiving a blood transfusion, tell your doctor that you are using this medication.

You should get all necessary immunizations at least 6 weeks before starting treatment with this medication. While on this medication, do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).

Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.

This medication also increases your risk of getting a very serious infection caused by a bacteria called listeria. During treatment and for some time after treatment with this medication, either avoid food that may contain listeria (such as deli meat, unpasteurized milk and cheese products, soft cheeses, undercooked meat/seafood/poultry), or make sure you heat it well. Ask your doctor for more details.

To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using alemtuzumab. Alemtuzumab may harm an unborn baby. Your doctor should order a pregnancy test before you start this medication. Ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 4 months after stopping treatment. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended during treatment and for at least 4 months after stopping treatment. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Headache, fever, chills, flushing, mild rash/itching, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, tiredness, or dizziness may occur during or after the infusion. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if any of these effects occur. Your doctor may prescribe additional medications to help control these symptoms. Diarrhea, stomach/abdominal pain, cough, trouble sleeping, or mouth sores may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as depression, anxiety), muscle/bone/back pain, signs of thyroid disease (such as unusual weight changes, increased sweating, constipation, feeling cold, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat), signs of liver disease (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).

This medication may increase your risk of getting a rare but very serious (possibly fatal) brain infection (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy-PML). Get medical help right away if you have any of these side effects: clumsiness, loss of coordination/balance, weakness, sudden change in your thinking (such as confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss), difficulty talking/walking, seizure, vision changes.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, chest/jaw/left arm pain.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Copyright © 2020 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

RxAnswers™ is a copyrighted combined product from Healthnotes and First DataBank, Inc.

Drug information is selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First DataBank, Inc. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your healthcare professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you.

This information is intended only for residents of the United States. Products sold under the same brand names in other countries may contain different ingredients.

Learn more about First DataBank

There are some limitations on the information provided in “Nutrient Interactions.” Do NOT rely solely on the information in this article. Please read the disclaimer.

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

Healthnotes and/or its suppliers make no warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of this content herein or that of any organization referred or linked to within this content and will not be liable for any damages arising out of your access to or use of any information found herein or that of any organization referred to within this content.

Information expires December 2020.