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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Campath

Generic Name: alemtuzumab (Pronunciation: )

What is alemtuzumab (Campath)?

Alemtuzumab is an antibody made from animal DNA.

Alemtuzumab is used to treat chronic B-cell lymphocytic leukemia.

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

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

Some people receiving an 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 hot or cold, nauseated, light-headed, sweaty, or have chest tightness or trouble breathing during the injection.

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:

  • fever, sweating, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat, weight loss;
  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, confusion or weakness;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nosebleed, bleeding gums), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • cough with yellow or green mucus, wheezing;
  • tired feeling, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • swelling, warmth, redness, tingling, itching, or oozing of the skin;
  • vision problems, changes in your behavior, seizure (convulsions); or
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Less serious side effects 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 alemtuzumab (Campath)?

You should not receive alemtuzumab if you are allergic to it.

Before you receive alemtuzumab, tell your doctor if you have any type of infection, if you are allergic to mouse or hamster proteins, or if you have regular blood transfusions.

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

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with alemtuzumab. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, cough, sweating, tired feeling, weakness, confusion, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleed, bleeding gums), feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, pale or yellowed skin, or dark colored urine.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using alemtuzumab. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.

You may be given other medications together with alemtuzumab to help prevent infection or certain side effects. Take these medicines for the full prescribed length of time.

You should not breast-feed while you are receiving alemtuzumab.

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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