Alemtuzumab is used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia or B-CLL (a type of cancer where the bone marrow produces too many white blood cells called lymphocytes).
This medicine is also used to treat multiple sclerosis (scars or lesions in the brain and spinal cord).
Alemtuzumab injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein). It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
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 Alemtuzumab.
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.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- active infection of any type
- HIV infection
as Alemtuzumab may not be suitable for you.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Your doctor may also need to do routine blood and urine tests while you are being treated with Alemtuzumab as this medicine may increase the risk of autoimmune conditions (your own immune system attacking your body). These tests are needed for 48 months after you have stopped the treatment.
This medicine may increase the risk of getting infections e.g. fungal infection in the mouth and vagina. Maintain good hygiene as this is important in managing fungal infections.
Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. Do not receive any vaccinations without first asking your doctor.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
This medicine may cause any of the following side effects: headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, chills, dizziness, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, dehydration, fever and fatigue.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- infusion reaction e.g. difficulty breathing, abnormal heartbeat and heart attack
- bleeding problems
- kidney disease
- serious infections
- autoimmune cytopenia (reduction in the number of mature blood cells)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- live vaccines e.g. BCG
- myelosuppressive agents e.g. deferiprone, dipyrone
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. pimecrolimus, tacrolimus
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.
Protect from light. Light may cause the medication to lose some of its effectiveness.
Do not use this medicine if it becomes cloudy or if it has changed in colour.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.