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Raptiva (efalizumab) - Oct 17, 2008

Audience: Dermatological healthcare professionals, patients

[Posted 10/17/2008] FDA notified healthcare professionals of extensive labeling changes, including a Boxed Warning, to highlight the risks of life-threatening infections, including bacterial sepsis, viral meningitis, invasive fungal disease, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and other opportunistic infections with the use of Raptiva. In addition, the prescribing information will be updated to describe a potential risk for the permanent suppression of the immune system with repeat administration of Raptiva in children. Raptiva is not approved for children under 18 years of age.

Doctors and other prescribers should carefully evaluate and weigh the risk/benefit profile of Raptiva for patients who would be more susceptible to these risks. Health care professionals should monitor patients treated with Raptiva for the signs and symptoms of these adverse events and also instruct patients to report any such signs and symptoms to them without delay. Patients identified to begin therapy with Raptiva should have received all their age-appropriate vaccinations before starting the drug.

Patients with pre-existing infections or who have a compromised immune system should notify their health care professional before beginning treatment with Raptiva.

[October 16, 2008 - News Release - FDA]