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Sarilumab

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

Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018

Warning

  • Very bad and sometimes deadly infections have happened in patients who take 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 sarilumab if you have an infection.
  • TB (tuberculosis) has been seen in patients started on sarilumab. 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 sarilumab.
  • If you have a long term infection or an infection that keeps coming back, talk with your doctor.
  • 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 Sarilumab:

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

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

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 sarilumab 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 Sarilumab?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take sarilumab. 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 white blood cell counts have happened with sarilumab. Talk with your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines while you take sarilumab and after you stop taking it. Vaccine use with sarilumab 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 sarilumab 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 sarilumab 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 sarilumab.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using sarilumab while you are pregnant.
  • If you used sarilumab 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 (Sarilumab) best taken?

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

All products:

  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin on the top of the thigh or the belly area.
  • 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.
  • Do not remove the cap or cover until ready to use.
  • 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.
  • Do not give into skin within 2 inches of the belly button.
  • 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.

Prefilled syringes:

  • If stored in a refrigerator, let sarilumab come to room temperature before using it. Leave it at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Do not heat sarilumab.

Prefilled pen:

  • If stored in a refrigerator, let sarilumab come to room temperature before using it. Leave it at room temperature for at least 60 minutes. Do not heat sarilumab.

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.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

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 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.
  • Weight loss.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Low platelet counts have rarely happened with sarilumab. This may lead to a higher chance of bleeding. Call your doctor right away if you have any unexplained bruising or bleeding.

What are some other side effects of Sarilumab?

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:

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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 Sarilumab?

  • 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 sarilumab out of the refrigerator. If stored at room temperature and not used within 14 days, throw sarilumab away.
  • 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.

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.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time sarilumab is refilled. If you have any questions about sarilumab, 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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