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Generic Name: velaglucerase alfa (VEL a GLOO ser ase AL fa)
Brand Name: VPRIV

What is velaglucerase alfa?

Velaglucerase is a man-made form of an enzyme that occurs naturally in the body. It is used as an enzyme replacement in people with Type I Gaucher disease.

Gaucher disease is a genetic condition in which the body lacks the enzyme needed to break down certain fatty materials (lipids). Lipids can build up in the body, causing symptoms such as easy bruising or bleeding, weakness, anemia, bone or joint pain, enlarged liver or spleen, or weakened bones that are easily fractured.

Velaglucerase may improve the condition of the liver, spleen, bones, and blood cells in people with Type I Gaucher disease. However, velaglucerase is not a cure for this condition.

Velaglucerase may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about velaglucerase alfa?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

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What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving velaglucerase alfa?

You should not use velaglucerase alfa if you are allergic to it.

This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether velaglucerase alfa passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Velaglucerase alfa is not approved for use by anyone younger than 4 years old.

How is velaglucerase alfa given?

Velaglucerase alfa is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Velaglucerase alfa must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take at least 1 hour to complete.

Velaglucerase alfa is usually given every other week. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight. Velaglucerase alfa doses are based on weight (especially in children and teenagers), and any changes may affect the dose.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your velaglucerase alfa injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving velaglucerase alfa?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Velaglucerase alfa side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; fever; chest discomfort, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, itchy, sweaty, or have fast heartbeats, chest tightness, or trouble breathing.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • dizziness, feeling tired;

  • nausea, stomach pain;

  • joint pain, back pain; or

  • fever.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect velaglucerase alfa?

Other drugs may interact with velaglucerase alfa, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about velaglucerase alfa.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2015-09-24, 12:23:01 PM.