Pharmacy Author: Emmanuel
Saltiel, Pharm. D.
Medical Editor: Jay Marks, M.D.
GENERIC NAME: efalizumab
BRAND NAME: Raptiva
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Efalizumab is a synthetic (man-made) antibody that is used for the treatment of psoriasis.Psoriasis is a disease of the skin in which the cells of the skin reproduce more rapidly than normal. This increased reproduction is thought to be stimulated by activation of the immune system, in particular, the lymphocytes. In order for lymphocytes to become activated, they must adhere (attach) to other cells through receptors on their surface. Efalizumab blocks one of these receptors (called leukocyte function antigen-1 or LFA-1) on the lymphocyte. By blocking adhesion, efalizumab prevents the activation of lymphocytes that is responsible for psoriasis.
PREPARATIONS: Vial of 125 mg lyophilized (freeze-dried) powder, prefilled syringe containing sterile water for reconstitution, and syringes and needles for injection.
STORAGE: Efalizumab must be stored at refrigerated temperature, between 2 and 8°C (36-46°F). Reconstituted efalizumab must be used within eight hours. Keep this medicine - as well as all others - away from the reach of children.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Efalizumab is used for the treatment of patients at least 18 years of age with chronic, moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
DOSING: Efalizumab is given as weekly subcutaneous (beneath the skin) injections. The first dose is 0.7 mg per kilogram of body weight (1 kilogram equals 2.2 pounds). Thereafter, each weekly dose is 1 mg per kilogram (up to a maximum single dose of 200 mg).
Efalizumab should be administered using the disposable syringe and needles provided in the kit. The cap on the pre-filled syringe containing sterile water should be removed. Thereafter, the needle is attached to the syringe. Remove the plastic cap protecting the rubber stopper of the efalizumab vial and wipe the top of the rubber stopper with one of the provided alcohol swabs. After cleaning with the alcohol swab, do not touch the top of the vial. To prepare the efalizumab solution, slowly inject the 1.3 mL of sterile water in the provided pre-filled syringe into the efalizumab vial. Swirl the vial with a gentle circular motion to dissolve the product. Do not shake. This procedure should be done immediately before each use, and the solution that is made should be used only once. If it is not used immediately after it is made, store at room temperature and use within 8 hours. Following administration, discard any unused reconstituted efalizumab solution. Potential sites for injection include the thigh, abdomen, buttocks, or upper arm. Injection sites should be rotated.
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