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Alemtuzumab

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Campath®
    • Brand Names: Canada: MabCampath®
    • Pharmacologic Category: Antineoplastic Agent, Monoclonal Antibody

    Uses
    • It is used to treat blood problems.
    • It is used to treat leukemia.
    • It is used to treat lymphoma.
    • It is used to keep the body from turning down the organ after an organ transplant.
    • Alemtuzumab harms cancer cells causing their death.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • It is given as a shot into a vein.
    • Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine may be given before this drug to lower fever and chills.

    Missed Dose

    • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

    Storage

    • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor's office. You will not store it at home.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Some patients have very bad side effects during the infusion. This drug causes low blood cell counts for a long period of time. Your doctor will need to watch your blood cell counts.
    • Very bad infections have happen in patients who take these types of drugs. Talk with the doctor.
    • Unsafe side effects may happen. This drug cannot be taken while you are taking some other drugs. Check all the drugs you are taking with your doctor.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to alemtuzumab or any other part of this drug.
    • If you are allergic to mouse proteins, talk with the doctor.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
    • If you have heart disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of a very bad infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
    • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
    • Talk with your doctor before using other aspirin, products that have aspirin, blood thinners, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, ibuprofen or like products, pain drugs, or vitamin E.
    • Use birth control that you can trust during care and for 6 months after care ends.
    • If you are a man and have sex, protect your partner from pregnancy during care and for 6 months after care ends. Use birth control that you can trust.

    Side Effects

    • Flu-like signs. These include headache, weakness, fever, shakes, aches, pains, and sweating. Mild pain drugs may help.
    • Chance of getting an infection. Avoid people with infections, colds, or flu.
    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
    • High or low blood pressure.
    • Headache.
    • Belly pain.
    • Cough.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Mouth irritation. Using a soft toothbrush or cotton swabs and rinsing the mouth may help.
    • Swelling in the arms or legs.
    • Loose stools.
    • Skin irritation.
    • Anemia, low white blood cell count, and low platelet count.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
    • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
    • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
    • Very bad headache.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Very loose stools.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Dark, tarry-black stool.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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