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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Amevive

Generic Name: alefacept (Pronunciation: ah LEH fa cept)

What is alefacept (Amevive)?

Alefacept is a protein that reduces specific actions of the immune system that are involved in causing psoriasis.

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

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

What are the possible side effects of alefacept (Amevive)?

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.

Stop using alefacept and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • cough with yellow or green mucus, stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • swelling, warmth, redness, itching, or oozing from the skin;
  • new skin lesions, or a sunburn-like skin rash; or
  • worsening or no improvement of your skin condition.

Less serious side effects may include:

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 alefacept (Amevive)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to alefacept, or if you have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

Before using alefacept, tell your doctor if you have an active or chronic infection, liver disease, a history of cancer, or if you are receiving phototherapy or using drugs that weaken the immune system.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using alefacept. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine.

Alefacept can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Using alefacept may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with alefacept. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, chills, flu symptoms, mouth sores, swelling or warmth, skin redness or oozing, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath, or cough with yellow or green mucus.

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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