alemtuzumab (Campath)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What is alemtuzumab-injectable, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Alemtuzumab is an injectable drug used for the treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL). People with CLL have too many of a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes in the blood and bone marrow. Alemtuzumab is an antibody that targets a protein called CD52 that is found on the surface of the lymphocytes. Alemtuzumab attaches to lymphocytes and then activates the immune system to help kill the lymphocytes.
  • The FDA approved alemtuzumab in May, 2001.

Is alemtuzumab-injectable available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for alemtuzumab-injectable?

Yes

What are the uses for alemtuzumab-injectable?

Alemtuzumab is used alone for the treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL)

What are the side effects of alemtuzumab-injectable?

Common side effects include:

Other side effects include:

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What is the dosage for alemtuzumab-injectable?

  • Alemtuzumab is given by intravenous infusion over 2 hours. The dose should be gradually increased to the recommended dose of 30 mg/day three times per week for 12 weeks.
  • Medications that should be given during alemtuzumab therapy to prevent side effects and infections include oral antihistamines, acetaminophen (Tylenol), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole DS (Bactrim DS), and famciclovir (Famvir).

Which drugs or supplements interact with alemtuzumab-injectable?

Alemtuzumab drug interaction studies have not been conducted.

Is alemtuzumab-injectable safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • Proteins such as alemtuzumab, may cross the placental barrier and may be excreted in breast milk. Alemtuzumab has not been studied in pregnant women or nursing mothers. It should be given to a pregnant or nursing woman only if clearly needed.

What else should I know about alemtuzumab-injectable?

What preparations of alemtuzumab-injectable are available?

Injection (single use vial): 30 mg/vial

How should I keep alemtuzumab-injectable stored?

Alemtuzumab should be stored at 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F), protected from light, and not frozen. If frozen, thaw to 2 to 8 C before administration.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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Summary

alemtuzumab (Campath) is an injection drug prescribed to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL). Side Effects, drug interactions, recommended dosages, storage information, and pregnancy and breastfeeding information should be reviewed prior to using any medication.

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Reviewed on 6/15/2016
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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