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Drugs reference index «Amevive»

Amevive


Amevive

Generic Name: alefacept (ah LEH fa cept)Brand Names: Amevive

What is alefacept?

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

Alefacept is used for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis in people who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

Alefacept may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

What is the most important information I should know about alefacept?

Patients with HIV should not take alefacept. Talk to your doctor before taking alefacept if you are HIV positive.

Alefacept reduces levels of certain white blood cells in the body. If the level of these white blood cells falls too low, treatment with alefacept may need to be withheld temporarily or discontinued. Your doctor will monitor your white blood cell levels during treatment.

Alefacept may increase the risk of developing cancer. Do not use alefacept without first talking to your doctor if you have cancer or a history of cancer. Alefacept reduces certain actions of the immune system and may increase the risk of developing a new infection or reactivating a chronic infection that has been latent (inactive). Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of an infection such as fever or chills, sore throat, coughing, or burning with urination.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using alefacept?

Patients with HIV should not take alefacept. Talk to your doctor before taking alefacept if you are HIV positive. Do not use alefacept without first talking to your doctor if you
  • have had a previous allergic reaction to alefacept;

  • have heart or blood vessel problems;

  • have cancer or a history of cancer;

  • have an infection or a history of chronic infection; or

  • are taking another immunosuppressive medication or are receiving phototherapy.

You may not be able to use alefacept, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

Alefacept is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use alefacept without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether alefacept passes into breast milk. Do not use alefacept without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use alefacept?

Use alefacept exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain them to you.

Alefacept is administered by a healthcare provider as an intravenous (into the vein) or intramuscular (into the muscle) injection.

Alefacept is usually administered once a week for a twelve week period. Your doctor will give you detailed information on the best treatment regimen for you.

It is important to use alefacept regularly to get the most benefit.

Alefacept reduces levels of certain white blood cells in the body. If the level of these white blood cells falls too low, treatment with alefacept may need to be withheld temporarily or discontinued. Your doctor will monitor your white blood cell levels during treatment.

Your doctor will want you to have blood tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with alefacept to monitor progress and side effects

Alefacept will be stored by your healthcare provider as directed by the manufacturer.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of alefacept.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of alefacept is unlikely to threaten life. Seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if an overdose of alefacept is suspected.

Symptoms of an alefacept overdose may include chills, headache, joint pain, stuffy nose, and low white blood cell counts.

What should I avoid while using alefacept?

Talk to your doctor before receiving vaccinations during treatment with alefacept. It is not known whether alefacept will reduce the actions of vaccines that use a live strain of the virus (e.g., measles, mumps, and rubella or MMR) if administered during treatment with alefacept.

Alefacept side effects

Alefacept reduces levels of certain white blood cells in the body. If the level of these white blood cells falls too low, treatment with alefacept may need to be withheld temporarily or discontinued. Your doctor will monitor your white blood cell levels during treatment.

Alefacept may increase the risk of developing cancer. Do not use alefacept without first talking to your doctor if you have cancer or a history of cancer. Alefacept reduces certain actions of the immune system and may increase the risk of developing a new infection or reactivating a chronic infection that has been latent (inactive). Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of an infection such as fever or chills, sore throat, coughing, or burning with urination. Stop using alefacept and seek emergency medical attention if you develop symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to use alefacept and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • sore throat or cough;

  • dizziness;

  • headache

  • nausea;

  • itching;

  • muscle aches;

  • chills; or

  • pain, discomfort, or inflammation at the injection site.

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 other drugs will affect alefacept?

Talk to your doctor before receiving vaccinations during treatment with alefacept. It is not known whether alefacept will reduce the actions of vaccines that use live strains of the virus (e.g., measles, mumps, and rubella or MMR) if administered during treatment with alefacept.

Other medications that affect the immune system may interact with alefacept. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products during treatment with alefacept.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about alefacept written for healthcare professionals that you may read.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.02. Revision Date: 4/12/2009 4:45:01 PM.
  • Amevive Consumer Overview
  • Amevive MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Alefacept Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)

See Also...

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