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Eculizumab

Generic Name: Eculizumab (e kue LIZ oo mab)
Brand Name: Soliris

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 3, 2019.

Warning

  • Life-threatening meningococcal infections have happened with eculizumab. This type of infection can become life-threatening very fast and can be deadly if not treated early. You will need to get a meningococcal vaccine at least 2 weeks before starting eculizumab unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Meningococcal vaccines lower the risk of meningococcal infections; they may not get rid of the risk of these infections. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.

Uses of Eculizumab:

  • It is used to treat a blood disease called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).
  • It is used to treat a blood and kidney disease called atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS).
  • It is used to treat myasthenia gravis.
  • It is used to treat a health problem called neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD).

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Eculizumab?

  • If you have an allergy to eculizumab or any other part of eculizumab.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you did not get a meningococcal vaccine.
  • If you have a meningococcal infection.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with eculizumab.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take eculizumab with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Eculizumab?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take eculizumab. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • The chance of gonorrhea infections may be raised in some people. Talk to your doctor to see if you have a greater chance of gonorrhea, how to prevent gonorrhea, and if you need to get tested.
  • Make sure you are up to date with all your vaccines before treatment with eculizumab.
  • Have patient safety card with you at all times and for 3 months after drug is stopped.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Some patients have very bad side effects during the infusion. Tell your doctor if you have any bad effects during the infusion.
  • Some health problems may happen after eculizumab is stopped. You will need to be watched closely for several weeks after you stop eculizumab. Follow up with your doctor as you have been told. After stopping eculizumab, call your doctor right away if you have a change in how much urine is passed; dark urine; swelling, warmth, or pain in the leg or arm; chest pain or pressure; coughing up blood; trouble breathing or swallowing; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; seizures; or stomach pain. Call your doctor right away if you feel confused or have weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or change in eyesight. Call your doctor right away if you are a man and you are not able to get or keep an erection.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.

How is this medicine (Eculizumab) best taken?

Use eculizumab as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
  • Signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) like blood in the urine, burning or pain when passing urine, feeling the need to pass urine often or right away, fever, lower stomach pain, or pelvic pain.
  • Signs of a meningococcal infection like very bad headache with or without upset stomach, throwing up, fever, or stiff neck or back; confusion; high fever; fever with a rash; if light bothers the eyes; or very bad muscle aches or pain with or without flu-like signs.
  • Signs of high or low blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Bruising.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Eye irritation.

What are some other side effects of Eculizumab?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Headache.
  • Nose or throat irritation.
  • Signs of a common cold.
  • Flu-like signs.
  • Back pain.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, throwing up, or feeling less hungry.
  • Feeling dizzy, tired, or weak.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Pain in arms or legs.
  • Muscle spasm.
  • Hair loss.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Eculizumab?

  • If you need to store eculizumab at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time eculizumab is refilled. If you have any questions about eculizumab, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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