Generic Name: daratumumab (dar-a-TOOM-ue-mab)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 1, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Monoclonal Antibody
Uses for daratumumab
Daratumumab injection is used alone or together with other medicines to treat multiple myeloma (a type of bone marrow cancer). It is used alone in patients who have received at least 3 prior treatments that did not work well, including a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory agent, or who did not respond to both a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory agent.
Daratumumab injection is also used in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone to treat patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who cannot receive autologous stem cell transplant and patients with relapsed (cancer that has come back) or refractory (cancer that did not respond to treatment) multiple myeloma who have received at least 1 previous treatment.
Daratumumab injection is also used together with bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone to treat patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who cannot receive autologous stem cell transplant.
Daratumumab injection is also used together with bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone to treat patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who can receive autologous stem cell transplant.
Daratumumab injection is also used in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone to treat patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least 1 previous treatment.
Daratumumab injection is also used in combination with carfilzomib and dexamethasone to treat patients with relapsed (cancer that has come back) or refractory (cancer that did not respond to treatment) multiple myeloma who have received 1 to 3 previous treatments.
Daratumumab injection is also used in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone to treat patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least two treatments (including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor).
Daratumumab is to be given only by or under the supervision of your doctor.
Before using daratumumab
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 daratumumab, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to daratumumab 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 have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of daratumumab injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of daratumumab injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have serious unwanted effects (eg, pneumonia, sepsis), which may require caution in patients receiving daratumumab.
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 daratumumab. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Hepatitis B infection, active or history of or
- Herpes zoster infection (shingles), history of—May reactivate these conditions.
- Lung or breathing problems (eg, COPD), or history of or
- Neutropenia (low number of white blood cells) or
- Thrombocytopenia (low number of platelets)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Proper use of daratumumab
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you daratumumab in a medical facility. It is given through a needle placed into one of your veins.
Daratumumab needs to be given on a fixed schedule. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Daratumumab should come with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have questions.
You may receive antiviral medicine to prevent shingles within 1 week of starting treatment with daratumumab and continue for 3 months after treatment.
You may also receive other medicines (eg, allergy medicine, fever medicine, steroid) 1 to 3 hours before receiving daratumumab and after treatment to help prevent unwanted reactions to the injection.
Daratumumab needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Precautions while using daratumumab
It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely while you are receiving daratumumab to make sure that the medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Receiving daratumumab while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment and for at least 3 months after your last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while receiving the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Daratumumab may cause an infusion reaction, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have chills, cough, dizziness or lightheadedness, headache, itching, nausea or vomiting, runny or stuffy nose, a rash or hives, trouble breathing, or sore throat while you are receiving daratumumab.
Daratumumab can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
- If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
- Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
- Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
- Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
- Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
- Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
Make sure any doctor who treats you knows that you are using daratumumab. Daratumumab may affect the results of certain medical tests including tests to determine your blood type. These effects may last up to 6 months after your last dose. Tell all of your healthcare providers that you are receiving daratumumab before you receive a blood transfusion.
Daratumumab 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:
- Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blurred vision
- body aches or pain
- chest pain or tightness
- ear congestion
- facial swelling
- fast heartbeat
- loss of voice
- pounding in the ears
- rapid, shallow breathing
- slow or fast heartbeat
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- tingling of the hands or feet
- trouble breathing
- unusual weight gain or loss
- Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- painful blisters on the trunk of body
- skin rash, hives, or itching
- tightness in the chest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
- Black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blood in the urine or stools
- lower back or side pain
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- sore throat
- ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
- unusual bleeding or bruising
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:
- Back pain
- burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
- difficulty with moving
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
- muscle pain or stiffness
- pain in the arms or legs
- unsteadiness or awkwardness
- weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
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.
Frequently asked questions
- How long does Darzalex work?
- Can Darzalex cure Multiple Myeloma?
- Is Darzalex chemotherapy?
- How is Darzalex administered?
More about daratumumab
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 7 Reviews
- Drug class: CD38 monoclonal antibodies
- Other brands
Related treatment guides
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