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alemtuzumab (cont.)

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking 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 are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • heart disease;
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
  • diabetes;
  • a stomach or intestinal disorder; or
  • asthma or other breathing disorder.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use alemtuzumab, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. 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.

It is not known whether alemtuzumab passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed a baby while you are receiving alemtuzumab and for at least 3 months after your treatment ends.

How is alemtuzumab given (Campath)?

Alemtuzumab is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take up to 2 hours to complete.

Alemtuzumab is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be given instructions on how to inject your medicine at home. Do not use this medicine at home if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles and other items used in giving the medicine.

Use each needle and syringe only one time. Throw away used needles and syringes in a puncture-proof container. If your medicine does not come with such a container, ask your pharmacist where you can get one. Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets. Your pharmacist can tell you how to properly dispose of the container.

Do not shake the medication vial (bottle). Vigorous shaking can ruin the medicine. Do not mix your alemtuzumab dose until you are ready to give yourself an injection. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

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

You may also need to take an antibiotic to prevent infections while you are receiving alemtuzumab. Take the antibiotic for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor.

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.

Tell your doctor if you have stopped using alemtuzumab for longer than 7 days for any reason. You may need to restart the medication at a lower dose.

If you keep this medicine at home, store it in a refrigerator, and protect it from light. Do not allow the medicine to freeze. If it does freeze, thaw in a refrigerator. Do not warm the medication.

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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