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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Raptiva

Generic Name: efalizumab (Pronunciation: EF a LIZ oo mab)

What is efalizumab (Raptiva)?

Efalizumab is a man-made form of a protein similar to human antibodies. Efalizumab is made to target and destroy only certain cells in the body. This may help to protect healthy cells from damage.

Efalizumab is used to treat plaque psoriasis (raised, silvery flaking of the skin) in adults.

Efalizumab may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of efalizumab (Raptiva)?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), loss of appetite, or mouth sores;
  • signs of a skin infection, such as redness, tenderness, and swelling;
  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, confusion or weakness;
  • change in your mental state, problems with speech or walking, decreased vision (these symptoms may start gradually and get worse quickly);
  • cough with yellow or green mucus, stabbing chest pain or tightness, wheezing, trouble breathing;
  • neck stiffness, increased sensitivity to light, purple spots on the skin, and/or seizure (convulsions);
  • numbness or tingly feeling in your feet and spreading upward, muscle weakness in your face; or
  • problems with vision, speech, swallowing, or bladder and bowel functions.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, muscle pain, and nausea or vomiting (especially after the first dose);
  • back pain;
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling; or
  • swelling in your hands or feet.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about efalizumab (Raptiva)?

Efalizumab increases the risk of serious infections, including a viral infection of the brain that can lead to disability or death. This risk is higher if you have a weak immune system or are receiving certain medicines. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as change in your mental state, problems with speech or walking, or decreased vision. These symptoms may start gradually and get worse quickly.

During your efalizumab treatment, it is extremely important that your doctor check you every 3 to 6 months to make sure you are not developing any signs of serious infection. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

You should also call your doctor right away if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, or unusual weakness.

Before using efalizumab, tell your doctor about all other medications you are using, especially other psoriasis medications or phototherapy, or drugs that weaken your immune system such as cancer medicine, steroids, and medicines to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ.



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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