Blinatumomab is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (a type of blood cancer) in patients not responding to previous treatment or when the cancer has come back.
Blinatumomab injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein) as an infusion. It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
You may need to receive your injection in the hospital or clinic under the supervision of your doctor or nurse. Your doctor will discuss with you if you can continue treatment at home after your initial stay at the hospital or clinic.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
Before the Blinatumomab drip is started, you may be given other medicines to prevent or lessen the side effects of this medicine.
Your doctor will advise you about how long you need to be given Blinatumomab.
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 Blinatumomab.
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.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with Blinatumomab and for at least 2 days after your last treatment.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- had a history of stroke
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- Parkinson’s disease (a brain disease that affects movement)
- epilepsy (fits or seizures)
Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. The vaccine may not work well or may cause an infection when used together with Blinatumomab. Do not have any vaccinations without first asking your doctor for advice.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
It is important that you do not get pregnant while being treated with this medicine. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- You may need to have routine blood tests (e.g. complete blood count with differential) while you are being treated with Blinatumomab. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring for signs and symptoms of toxic effects may also be needed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Blinatumomab may cause dizziness, drowsiness, incoordination and other neurologic events. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, fever, chills, flushing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, weight gain, back pain and difficulty sleeping.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor if you experience:
- severe persistent stomach pain with or without nausea and vomiting
- confusion, fits or seizures, involuntary shaking of hands or legs, difficulty in communicating
- fever, swelling, chills, difficulty breathing fast or irregular heartbeat, muscle pain
- skin rash, chest tightness, wheezing, light headedness, swelling of mouth, eyes or throat
Blinatumomab may cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you to a 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.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- warfarin (blood-thinning medicine)
- ciclosporin (medicine used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders)
Avoid vaccinations at least 2 weeks prior your therapy, during treatment or until your white blood cells have recovered to normal after your last treatment with Blinatumomab.
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, away from the reach of children.
Do not use this medicine if it becomes cloudy or if it has changed in colour. Do not freeze.
Keep in the original packaging to protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, any unused or expired medicine must be returned to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.