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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using alefacept (Amevive)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to alefacept, or if you have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
To make sure you can safely take alefacept, tell your doctor if you have other medical conditions, especially:
Using alefacept may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.
FDA pregnancy category B. Alefacept is not expected to harm an unborn baby. However, tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment or within 8 weeks after you stop using alefacept.
It is not known whether alefacept passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using alefacept.
How should I use alefacept (Amevive)?
Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Alefacept is usually given once every week for 12 weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Alefacept is injected into a muscle. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Alefacept is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.
Do not shake the mixed medicine or it may foam. Prepare your dose in a syringe only when you are ready to give yourself an injection. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medication.
After mixing alefacept with a diluent, store in the refrigerator and use it within 4 hours. Do not freeze.
Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to give your injection (shot). Give each shot at least 1 inch away from where the last shot was injected. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row. Do not inject alefacept into skin that is tender, bruised, red, or hard (including an active psoriasis lesion).
Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
Each single-use vial (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.
Alefacept can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with alefacept. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store this medicine in its original container in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Protect from light.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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