alemtuzumab - injection, Campath (cont.)
USES: Alemtuzumab is used to treat a certain type of leukemia (B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, also known as B-CLL). This medication works by stopping the growth of cancer cells.Alemtuzumab is also used to treat a certain type of multiple sclerosis (relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis-MS). It is not a cure for MS but it is thought to help by preventing immune system cells (lymphocytes) from attacking the nerves in your brain and spinal cord. It helps decrease the number of episodes of worsening and may prevent or delay disability.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start using alemtuzumab and each time you receive treatment with this drug. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.This medication is given by slow injection into a vein by a health care professional. The dosage and treatment schedule is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are using this medication to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, your doctor will increase your dose slowly to decrease the risk of side effects.Before you receive this medication, your doctor will direct you to take other medications (e.g., acetaminophen, diphenhydramine) to help prevent side effects. Your doctor should also prescribe other medications (e.g., antibiotics, antiviral medications) to help prevent infection in your body. Use these additional medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Fever, chills, dizziness, muscle stiffness, nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, mild rash/itching, tiredness, or trouble breathing may occur during or after the infusion. These reactions occur more often during the first week of treatment. Tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately if any of these effects occur, persist, or worsen. Your doctor may prescribe additional medications to help control these symptoms. Mouth sores, loss of appetite, shaking (tremor), stomach/abdominal pain, constipation, drowsiness, cough, increased sweating, or trouble sleeping may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Many people using this medication 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 immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: shortness of breath, mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, anxiety), bone pain, muscle pain/spasm, unusual weakness, swelling ankles/feet, yellowing skin/eyes, change in the amount of urine, painful urination, numbness/tingling of arms/legs, pain/redness/swelling of arms/legs/injection site.Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: fainting, trouble breathing, chest/jaw/left arm pain, irregular heartbeat, seizures, confusion, vision changes, weakness on one side of the body.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention 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.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014
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