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) in patients who have not responded to other cancer chemotherapy drugs (e.g., fludarabine). This medication works by stopping the growth of cancer cells.
HOW TO USE: This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. Do not shake the vial before use. Follow all instructions for proper dilution with the correct IV fluid. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Do not mix alemtuzumab with other medications in the same solution or give together in the same IV line. If you have any questions about the preparation or use of this medication, consult your pharmacist.Dosage is based on your response to treatment. You will be started on a low dose of the medication, and your dose will be slowly increased. This medication is usually given over 2 hours. The manufacturer recommends that you receive no more than 30 milligrams in a single dose and no more than a total of 90 milligrams in a week.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.
Back to Medications Index
Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!