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Kevzara

Generic Name: Sarilumab (sar IL ue mab)
Brand Name: Kevzara

Warning

  • Very bad and sometimes deadly infections have happened in patients who take Kevzara (sarilumab). Most people who had these infections were taking other drugs to lower the immune system like methotrexate or steroid drugs. If you have any infection, are taking antibiotics now or in the recent past, or have had many infections, talk with your doctor.
  • Do not take this medicine if you have an infection.
  • TB (tuberculosis) has been seen in patients started on Kevzara. These patients were exposed to TB in the past, but never got the infection. You will be tested to see if you have been exposed to TB before starting this medicine.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection like fever, chills, flu-like signs, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or a wound that will not heal.

Uses of Kevzara:

  • It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

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

  • If you have an allergy to Kevzara or any part of this medicine.
  • 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 have liver disease or raised liver enzymes.
  • If you have a low platelet count or a low white blood cell count.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, natalizumab, rituximab, or tocilizumab.
  • If you are taking tofacitinib.

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

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 this medicine 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 Kevzara?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Kevzara. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Low platelet and white blood cell counts may rarely happen.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines while you take this medicine and after you stop taking it. Vaccine use with Kevzara may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may affect how much of some other drugs are in your body. If you are taking other drugs, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while taking this medicine with your other drugs.
  • This medicine may cause high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Talk with the doctor.
  • Holes in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract may rarely happen.
  • This medicine may add to the chance of getting some types of cancer. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Kevzara with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Kevzara (sarilumab) while you are pregnant.
  • If you used this medicine when you were pregnant, tell your baby's doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Kevzara) best taken?

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

  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
  • If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
  • Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
  • Leave this medicine at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before using. Do not remove the cap or cover until ready to use. Do not heat Kevzara.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Do not shake.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • This medicine is colorless to a faint yellow. Do not use if the solution changes color.
  • Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
  • Do not give into skin that is irritated, bruised, red, infected, or scarred.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Be sure you know what to do if you forget to take a dose
  • If you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose, call your doctor.

Dosage Information (comprehensive)

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 or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • 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.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.
  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Warm, red, or painful skin or sores on the body.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Muscle pain or weakness.
  • Coughing up blood.

What are some other side effects of Kevzara?

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:

  • Irritation where the shot is given.
  • Signs of a common cold.
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sore throat.

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.

Side Effects (complete list)

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 Kevzara?

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Store in original container.
  • Protect from light.
  • If needed, you may store at room temperature for up to 14 days. Write down the date you take this medicine out of the refrigerator. If stored at room temperature and not used within 14 days, throw Kevzara away.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • 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.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, 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.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Kevzara or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. 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 Kevzara. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Review Date: November 1, 2017

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