Generic Name: galsulfase (gal-SUL-fase)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 23, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Endocrine-Metabolic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Enzyme
Uses for galsulfase
Galsulfase injection is used to treat symptoms of an inherited disease called mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS VI) disease or Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome. Galsulfase improves walking and stair-climbing ability in patients who are lacking a certain enzyme called N-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfatase in the body.
Galsulfase is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of a doctor.
Before using galsulfase
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 galsulfase, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to galsulfase 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 galsulfase injection in children 5 years of age and older. Your doctor may choose to use galsulfase in children younger than 5 years of age at their discretion.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of galsulfase injection in the geriatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
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 galsulfase. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Fluid volume overload (increased volume of fluid in the body) or
- Heart disease or
- Lung disease or breathing problems—Use with caution. May increase risk for serious side effects.
- Sleep apnea—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
Proper use of galsulfase
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child galsulfase in a hospital. Galsulfase is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
The usual dose schedule for galsulfase is one time each week. Galsulfase must be given slowly, so the needle will remain in place for at least 4 hours.
You or your child may also receive medicines to help prevent possible allergic reactions to the injection.
Precautions while using galsulfase
If you will be using galsulfase for a long time, it is very important that your doctor check you or your child at regular visits for any problems or unwanted effects that may be caused by galsulfase.
Galsulfase may cause serious types of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have dizziness, lightheadedness, a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing or swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you or your child are using galsulfase.
Galsulfase may cause headaches and skin reactions, such as a rash or itching, while you are receiving the injection or within 24 hours after you receive it. Check with your doctor or nurse right away if you or your child have any of these symptoms.
Galsulfase can cause fever and allergic-type reactions. You or your child will receive medicines to prevent these side effects, and that medicine may make you drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
Tell your doctor right away if you have back pain, paralysis of the limbs, or loss of bladder or bowel control after receiving galsulfase. These could be symptoms of a condition called spinal or cervical cord compression (SCC).
Your doctor may want you or your child to join a patient registry for patients using galsulfase. This will help you monitor the progress of your disease while on long-term treatment using galsulfase.
Galsulfase 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:
- Blurred or decreased vision
- chest pain
- difficult or labored breathing
- hernia of the naval
- pounding in the ears
- slow or fast heartbeat
- swelling of the face
- tightness in the chest
Incidence not known
- Back pain
- bluish lips or skin
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- fever, chills, or sweating
- hives or welts
- joint pain
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- loss of bladder control
- loss of bowel control
- nausea or vomiting
- paralysis of the limbs
- stomach pain
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:
- ear pain
- loss of appetite
- Body aches or pain
- burning, dry, or itching eyes
- dryness or soreness of the throat
- excessive tearing
- loss of or increase in reflexes
- runny or stuffy nose
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- trouble with swallowing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- voice changes
Incidence not known
- Difficulty with moving
- loss of voice
- muscle pain or stiffness
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.