Generic Name: ocrelizumab (ok-re-LIZ-ue-mab)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 6, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Immune Modulator
Pharmacologic Class: Monoclonal Antibody
Uses for ocrelizumab
Ocrelizumab injection is used to treat the relapsing forms (including clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease) or primary progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Ocrelizumab will not cure MS, but it may slow some of the disabling effects and decrease the number of relapses of the disease.
Ocrelizumab is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Before using ocrelizumab
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 ocrelizumab, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to ocrelizumab 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 ocrelizumab injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of ocrelizumab injection have not been performed in the geriatric population. However, geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ocrelizumab injection in the elderly are not expected.
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. When you are receiving ocrelizumab, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using ocrelizumab with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Adenovirus Vaccine Type 4, Live
- Adenovirus Vaccine Type 7, Live
- Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live
- Cholera Vaccine, Live
- Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine, Live
- Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live
- Measles Virus Vaccine, Live
- Mumps Virus Vaccine, Live
- Poliovirus Vaccine, Live
- Rotavirus Vaccine, Live
- Rubella Virus Vaccine, Live
- Smallpox Vaccine
- Typhoid Vaccine
- Varicella Virus Vaccine
- Yellow Fever Vaccine
- Zoster Vaccine, Live
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 ocrelizumab. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Cancer or
- Weak immune system—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious side effects.
- Hepatitis B infection, active or
- Infusion reaction, history of—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
- Hepatitis B infection, history of—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
- Infection, active—Should be treated first before receiving ocrelizumab.
Proper use of ocrelizumab
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you ocrelizumab in a medical facility. It is given through a needle placed into one of your veins.
Your doctor may give you other medicines (eg, allergy medicine, fever medicine, steroid) before each infusion of ocrelizumab to prevent unwanted effects. Your doctor may also want you to stay for at least 1 hour after infusion to check for unwanted effects.
Ocrelizumab should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Ocrelizumab 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 ocrelizumab
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure ocrelizumab is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.
Ocrelizumab may cause a rare but serious type of an allergic reaction called an infusion reaction. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you start to have a cough, difficulty with swallowing, sore throat, dizziness, headache, nausea, fast heartbeat, trouble breathing, chest tightness, swelling in your face or hands, fever, chills, skin itching, redness, rash, or hives, lightheadedness or faintness, or unusual tiredness or weakness while you are receiving ocrelizumab.
Receiving ocrelizumab while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment with ocrelizumab and for 6 months after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while receiving ocrelizumab, tell your doctor right away.
Ocrelizumab may increase your risk of developing infections. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections while you are using ocrelizumab. Wash your hands often. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had an infection that would not go away or an infection that kept coming back.
Check with your doctor right away if you have ear congestion, chills, cough, chest tightness, fever, sneezing, sore throat, body aches or pain, headache, loss of voice, runny or stuffy nose, unusual tiredness or weakness, or trouble breathing. These could be symptoms of a lung infection.
Ocrelizumab may increase your risk for herpes infection. Tell your doctor right away if you have a fever, blistering, burning, crusting, irritation, itching, reddening, stinging, or swelling of the skin, painful cold sores, or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, genitals, or trunk of the body, skin rash, pain, or itching, changes in vision, confusion, eye pain or redness, headache, or stiff neck.
Check with your doctor if you have weakness on one side of the body, clumsiness, blurred vision, changes in thinking, memory problems, confusion, or personality changes. These could be symptoms of a serious and rare brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).
Ocrelizumab may cause hepatitis B virus reactivation. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of liver problems, such as yellow skin or eyes, dark brown-colored urine, right-sided stomach pain, fever, or severe tiredness.
While you are being treated with ocrelizumab, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. You may receive live or live-attenuated vaccines at least 4 weeks or non-live vaccines at least 2 weeks before starting ocrelizumab. Ocrelizumab may lower your body's resistance and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent. In addition, other persons living in your household should not take oral polio vaccine since there is a chance they could pass the polio virus on to you. Also, avoid persons who have taken oral polio vaccine within the last several months. Do not get close to them, and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you cannot take these precautions, you should consider wearing a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth.
Using ocrelizumab may increase your risk of getting cancer (eg, breast cancer). Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Ocrelizumab 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:
- Back pain
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blurred vision
- body aches or pain
- chest tightness
- difficulty with breathing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- ear congestion
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- feeling of warmth
- hives, itching, or skin rash
- loss of voice
- pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin
- rapid weight gain
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- runny or stuffy nose
- sore throat
- tingling of the hands or feet
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
- Burning or stinging of the skin
- painful blisters on the trunk of the body
- painful cold sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
Incidence not known
- Eye pain or redness
- mental changes
- stiff neck
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:
- feeling sad or empty
- lack of appetite
- loss of interest or pleasure
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
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
- What are the new drugs used for multiple sclerosis (MS)?
- How much does an Ocrevus infusion cost?
- Is Ocrevus a form of chemotherapy?
- How long does it take Ocrevus to work?
- How does Ocrevus work for MS?
- How long does an Ocrevus infusion take?
More about ocrelizumab
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 109 Reviews
- Drug class: CD20 monoclonal antibodies
- Other brands
Related treatment guides
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