Alglucosidase alfa (Intravenous)
Generic name: alglucosidase alfa (al-gloo-KOE-si-dase AL-fa)
Drug class: Lysosomal enzymes
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 21, 2021.
Life-threatening anaphylactic reactions and severe hypersensitivity reactions, presenting as respiratory distress, hypoxia, apnea, dyspnea, bradycardia, tachycardia, bronchospasm, throat tightness, hypotension, angioedema (including tongue or lip swelling, periorbital edema, and face edema), and urticaria, have occurred in some patients during and after alglucosidase alfa infusions. Immune-mediated reactions presenting as proteinuria, nephrotic syndrome, and necrotizing skin lesions have occurred in some patients following alglucosidase alfa treatment. Closely observe patients during and after alglucosidase alfa administration and be prepared to manage anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity reactions. Inform patients of the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, hypersensitivity reactions, and immune-mediated reactions and have them seek immediate medical care should signs and symptoms occur. Infantile-onset Pompe disease patients with compromised cardiac or respiratory function may be at risk of serious acute exacerbation of their cardiac or respiratory compromise due to fluid overload, and require additional monitoring .
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Enzyme Replacement
Pharmacologic Class: Enzyme
Uses for alglucosidase alfa
Alglucosidase alfa injection is an enzyme that treats infantile-onset Pompe disease, which is also called glycogen storage disease type II. Alglucosidase alfa contains a human enzyme called acid alpha-glucosidase. This enzyme helps with the digestion and absorption of glycogen. People with Pompe disease are not able to make enough of this enzyme.
Alglucosidase alfa is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using alglucosidase alfa
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For alglucosidase alfa, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to alglucosidase alfa or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of alglucosidase alfa injection in children.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of alglucosidase alfa injection in the geriatric population.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of alglucosidase alfa. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Breathing problems or
- Cardiac hypertrophy (heart is larger than normal) or
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, arrhythmia) or
- Lung disease—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Proper use of alglucosidase alfa
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child alglucosidase alfa in a hospital. Alglucosidase alfa is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
Alglucosidase alfa must be given slowly, so the needle will remain in place for a few hours. You or your child may also receive medicines to help prevent possible allergic reactions to the injection.
Precautions while using alglucosidase alfa
It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits to make sure that alglucosidase alfa is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Alglucosidase alfa may cause chest pain, fever, chills, itching, hives or a rash, a fast heartbeat, flushing of the face, dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness, trouble breathing, or swelling of the face, tongue, and throat within a few hours after it is given. Check with your doctor or nurse right away if you or your child have any of these symptoms.
Alglucosidase alfa may cause serious types of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash, itching, hoarseness, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after receiving alglucosidase alfa.
Alglucosidase alfa side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
- body aches or pain
- chest discomfort or pain
- difficult or labored breathing
- difficulty with swallowing
- dry, red, hot, or irritated skin
- ear congestion
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- feeling of warmth
- hives, itching, or skin rash
- increased sweating
- irregular, fast, slow, or shallow breathing
- lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- loss of voice
- nasal congestion
- pale skin
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- rapid shallow breathing
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- redness or pain at the catheter site
- runny nose
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- sore throat
- swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
- tightness in the chest
- trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
- troubled breathing
- troubled breathing with exertion
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Blood in the urine
- decreased urine
- dry mouth
- increased thirst
- loss of appetite
- mood changes
- muscle pain or cramps
- nausea or vomiting
- numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
- pain in the groin or genitals
- sharp back pain just below the ribs
Incidence not known
- Blue-green to black skin discoloration
- blurred vision
- dilated neck veins
- extreme fatigue
- heart stops
- inability to speak
- no breathing
- no pulse or blood pressure
- pain, redness, swelling, or sloughing of the skin at the place of injection
- severe or sudden headache
- severe pain in the chest
- slurred speech
- sudden and severe weakness in the arm or leg on one side of the body
- sudden onset of severe breathing difficulty
- swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- temporary blindness
- weight gain
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- acid or sour stomach
- body aches or pain
- change in hearing
- dryness or soreness of the throat
- ear discomfort or pain
- ear drainage
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- muscle or bone pain, stiffness, or tightness
- muscle twitching
- redness of the skin
- redness or swelling in the ear
- sensation of spinning
- sore mouth or tongue
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- upper abdominal or stomach pain
- voice changes
- white patches in the mouth or on the tongue
- Bloody nose
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
Incidence not known
- Burning, dry, or itching eyes
- discharge, excessive tearing
- muscle spasm
- redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about alglucosidase alfa
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- En Español
- Drug class: lysosomal enzymes
Related treatment guides
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