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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Campath

Generic Name: alemtuzumab (Pronunciation: AL em TOOZ oo mab)

What is alemtuzumab (Campath)?

Alemtuzumab is an antibody made from animal DNA.

Alemtuzumab is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Alemtuzumab is usually given after other medications have been tried without successful treatment.

Alemtuzumab may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of alemtuzumab (Campath)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some people receiving a alemtuzumab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, hot or cold, nauseated, light-headed, sweaty, itchy, or have a fast heartbeat, chest tightness, or trouble breathing during the injection.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • confusion, hallucinations; or
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips.

Less serious side effects include:

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about alemtuzumab (Campath)?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to alemtuzumab, or if you have HIV or AIDS, any type of active infection, or if you are allergic to mouse or hamster proteins.

Before receiving alemtuzumab, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, diabetes, a stomach or intestinal disorder, or asthma or other breathing problem.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 6 months after you stop using alemtuzumab.

Do not breast-feed a baby while you are receiving alemtuzumab and for at least 3 months after your treatment ends.

You may be given other medications together with alemtuzumab to help prevent infection or certain side effects.

Alemtuzumab can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with alemtuzumab, and for at least several weeks after your treatment ends. The live vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.

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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