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What type of drug is Adakveo and how does it work?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Sep 12, 2023.

Official answer

  • Adakveo injection is a targeted biologic P-selectin inhibitor that blocks interactions between certain blood cells and blood vessels to make them less “sticky”. This helps to reduce how often the painful crises occur in people 16 years of age and older with sickle cell disease.
  • Adakveo works by attaching to P-selectin, which helps to block the “sticky” connections between cells like red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets that leads to the unpredictable pain from sickle cell disease.

These pain crises in sickle cell disease are often called vaso-occlusive crises or VOCs, and occur due to a build-up of blood cells in the veins. These blockages may reduce blood and oxygen flow and lead to the pain crises seen in patients with sickle cell disease.

In a year-long study in the Adakveo group, the rate of VOCs was lowered to 1.63 compared to 2.98 for the placebo (inactive) group, a 45% reduction in painful crises.

Adakveo (crizanlizumab-tmca) is given by an intravenous (IV) infusion over a period of 30 minutes initially, and then again 2 weeks later. After that, it is given every 4 weeks. Your doctor will determine your dose based on your weight.

The most common side effects (occurring in 10% or more of patients in studies) were nausea (18%), joint pain (18%), back pain (15%), stomach-area pain (12%) and fever (11%).

It is not known if Adakveo is safe and effective in children under 16 years of age.

This is not all the information you need to know about Adakveo (crizanlizumab-tmca) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full Adakeveo information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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