Generic Name: alefacept (a-LE-fa-sept)
Brand Name: Amevive
Alefacept is used for:
Treating moderate to severe psoriasis.
Alefacept is an immunosuppressant. It works by decreasing the activity of immune cells and decreasing the rate of skin cell multiplication.
Do NOT use alefacept if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in alefacept
- you are taking a medicine that can suppress your immune system (eg, cancer chemotherapy, prednisone, cyclosporine)
- if you have or are at high risk of developing tumors
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using alefacept:
Some medical conditions may interact with alefacept. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of cancer, recurrent infection (eg, pneumonia, skin infections, tuberculosis), or immune system disorder (immunosuppression)
- if you are receiving phototherapy or planning to receive vaccinations
- if you have herpes or syphilis
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with alefacept. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Certain immunosuppressants (eg, chemotherapy, prednisone, methotrexate , cyclosporine) because too much immune system suppression may occur, increasing risk of side effects including risk of infection
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if alefacept may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use alefacept:
Use alefacept as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Alefacept comes with an additional patient leaflet. Read it carefully and reread it each time you get alefacept refilled.
- Alefacept is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using alefacept at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
- Alefacept is given by vein (intravenously [IV]) once weekly. Plan your injection on the same day each week to help you remember to administer it.
- Do not shake alefacept. This will prevent foaming of the medicine.
- If alefacept contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
- Use alefacept regularly to receive the most benefit from it.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
- If you miss a dose of alefacept, contact your doctor immediately.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use alefacept.
Important safety information:
- Alefacept may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to alefacept. Using alefacept alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
- Avoid vaccinations with live virus vaccines (eg, measles, mumps, oral polio) while you are taking alefacept. Avoid contact with people who have recently received the oral polio vaccine.
- Carry an identification card at all times that says you taking this medication.
- Alefacept may slightly increase your risk of developing a cancer. Contact your health care provider at once if you develop signs or symptoms of a tumor or infection.
- LAB TESTS, including T lymphocyte counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use alefacept with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Alefacept is not recommended for use in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using alefacept during pregnancy. Notify your health care provider if you become pregnant while using alefacept or within 8 weeks after stopping treatment. It is unknown if alefacept is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking alefacept.
Possible side effects of alefacept:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Dizziness; increased cough; muscle aches or pain; nausea; pain or swelling at the injection site; sore throat or throat inflammation.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; chills; fever; new or altered skin lesions or spots; painful or frequent urination; persistent sore throat; serious infections; swollen glands; unusual lumps; unusual vaginal discharge ; white patches in the mouth (oral thrush).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include chills; headache; joint pain.Proper storage of alefacept:
Store alefacept at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep in the original carton until ready for use. Once prepared, the diluted solution should be refrigerated at 36 to 46 degrees F (2 to 8 degrees C) and used within 4 hours. Check the expiration date on the label and properly discard any unused medicine after that time. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep alefacept out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about alefacept, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Alefacept is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about alefacept. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.