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Health Guide

Ocrelizumab (Intravenous route)

Pronunciation:

ok-re-LIZ-ue-mab

Brand Names:

  • Ocrevus

Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Immune Modulator

Pharmacologic—

Monoclonal Antibody

Uses of This Medicine:

Ocrelizumab injection is used to treat the relapsing forms or primary progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). This medicine will not cure MS, but it may slow some of the disabling effects and decrease the number of relapses of the disease.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of ocrelizumab injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults—

Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of alemtuzumab injection have not been performed in the geriatric population. However, geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ocrelizumab injection in the elderly are not expected.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Cancer or
  • Weak immune system—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious side effects.
  • Hepatitis B infection—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
  • Infection—May decrease your body's ability to fight infection.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed into one of your veins.

This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check you at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.

This medicine may cause a rare but serious type of an allergic reaction called an infusion reaction. This can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you start to have cough, difficulty with swallowing, dizziness, fast heartbeat, trouble with breathing, chest tightness, swelling in your face or hands, fever, chills, itching or hives, or lightheadedness or faintness while you are receiving this medicine.

This medicine may increase your risk of developing infections, including a serious brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections while you are using this medicine. Wash your hands often. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had an infection that would not go away or an infection that kept coming back.

While you are being treated with ocrelizumab, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. You should receive live vaccines for at least 6 weeks before starting treatment with this medicine. Ocrelizumab may lower your body's resistance and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent. In addition, other persons living in your household should not take oral polio vaccine since there is a chance they could pass the polio virus on to you. Also, avoid persons who have taken oral polio vaccine within the last several months. Do not get close to them, and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you cannot take these precautions, you should consider wearing a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth.

Using this medicine may increase your risk of getting cancer (including breast cancer). Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.

It is important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Use effective birth control during treatment and for 6 months after your treatment ends.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Back pain
blurred vision
body aches or pain
chest tightness
chills
confusion
cough
difficulty with breathing
dizziness
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
ear congestion
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
feeling of warmth
fever
headache
hives, itching, or skin rash
itching, pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin
loss of voice
nasal congestion
nausea and vomiting
redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
runny nose
sneezing
sore throat
sweating
trouble breathing
unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
Burning or stinging of the skin
painful cold sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
Incidence not known
Convulsions
drowsiness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
diarrhea
discouragement
feeling sad or empty
irritability
lack of appetite
loss of interest or pleasure
rapid weight gain
tingling of the hands or feet
trouble concentrating
trouble sleeping
unusual weight gain or loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 9/4/2017
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