IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Raptiva
USES: This medication is used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. This drug is a man-made protein (monoclonal antibody) that decreases the actions of certain immune system cells (T lymphocytes). This action decreases the skin changes that are seen with plaque psoriasis.
HOW TO USE: Give this medication by injecting under (subcutaneously or SC) the skin of the thigh, abdomen, buttock, or upper arm, once a week; or use as directed by your doctor. Your dose of efalizumab is based on your weight. Tell your doctor if your weight changes. Do not change your dose or stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor. Follow all instructions for preparing this drug for injection. Gently swirl the vial to mix the drug. Do not shake. If you have questions regarding the use of this medication, consult your pharmacist. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. It is important to change the location of the injection site weekly. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it on the same day each week. It may take up to four weeks before the full benefits of this drug take effect. If your condition does not improve or worsens, contact your doctor. Learn how to store and discard needles and medical supplies safely. Consult your pharmacist. Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist and ask questions if any of the information is unclear.
SIDE EFFECTS: Headache, chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, or muscle aches may occur during the first weeks, but then subside as your body adjusts to this medication. Pain, acne, backache, weakness, or flu-like symptoms may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: joint pain or swelling, swelling of hands or feet. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: unusual bleeding or bruising, unusual lumps, swollen glands, changes in skin appearance other than psoriasis affected areas. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
PRECAUTIONS: Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: current infections, blood problems (e.g., thrombocytopenia), history of cancer, immune system problems, currently on phototherapy, any allergies. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Based on information for related drugs, this medication may pass into breast milk. Therefore, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: live vaccines, drugs that suppress immune system (e.g., prednisone, cyclosporine). This product can affect the results of certain lab tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this drug. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include severe vomiting.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., platelet counts, alkaline phosphatase, white blood cell counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Refrigerate between 36 and 46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) away from light. Do not freeze. This medication must be used immediately after mixing. The mixed drug may be stored up to 8 hours at room temperature. If not used within this time, discard the medicine and mix a brand new dose. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
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Copyright 2004 by First DataBank, Inc.