Satralizumab is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder or also known as Devic's disease (a condition that occurs when your body's immune system reacts against its own cells in the nervous system causing inflammation of the eye nerves and spinal cord).
Satralizumab is to be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh or abdomen area).
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you. If you or your caregiver had been given the proper training on the preparation and injection techniques of this medicine, you or your caregiver may do the administration.
Use Satralizumab exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not administer more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1 inch away from the previous injection site. Do not inject near the navel (belly button) and into moles, scars, or areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, hard, or broken.
Satralizumab is available as a pre-filled syringe. Make sure you know how to use the device. If you have problems or do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your response to the medication.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Satralizumab.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
If you or a caregiver had been trained to administer this medicine and missed a dose, inject the missed dose as soon as you remember and inform your doctor immediately. Your doctor will advise you when you should schedule your next dose.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- active hepatitis B infection (a contagious liver infection caused by a virus from contaminated blood and body fluids)
- active or untreated inactive TB (lung infection known as tuberculosis)
as Satralizumab may not be suitable for you.
Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. You must avoid any vaccinations without consulting with your doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- active infection
- liver problem
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to a child or the elderly.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Screening for hepatitis B and TB infection must be done before treatment to know if Satralizumab is suited for you to use.
- Routine tests (e.g. liver function, blood counts) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring for signs of infection may also be needed.
Satralizumab may cause any of the following side effects: headache, migraine, nausea, diarrhoea, tiredness, pain in the arms, legs or joints, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, and redness, rash, itchiness or pain at the site of injection.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- fever, chills, constant cough or sore throat
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark coloured urine, swelling in the legs and ankles
This medicine will cause the level of your white blood cells and platelets to drop.
White blood cells help your body fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Avoid vaccinations with live vaccines during treatment with this medicine. Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated or if you are planning to get vaccinated.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- warfarin (blood-thinning medicine)
- medicines for fits or seizures e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin
- theophylline (asthma medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Satralizumab.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements, and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Keep in the outer carton to protect from light and moisture.
If needed, unopened pre-filled syringes may be left out of the refrigerator and stored below 30°C for a single period of up to 8 days.
If you notice that the injection has changed colour, has become cloudy or has particles in it, do not use it. Throw it away and use a new injection.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.