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Class: Immunomodulatory Agents
Chemical Name: Disulfide with human-mouse monoclonal 2H7 κ-chain, anti-(human CD20 (antigen)) (human-mouse monoclonal 2H7 γ1-chain), immunoglobulin G1 dimer
Molecular Formula: C6494H9978N1718O2014S46
CAS Number: 637334-45-3
Brands: Ocrevus

Medically reviewed on Dec 4, 2017


See also: Aubagio

Immunomodulatory agent; a recombinant humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody.1 2 3

Uses for Ocrelizumab

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Management of relapsing-remitting MS.1 2

Management of primary progressive MS.1 3

Ocrelizumab Dosage and Administration


  • Administer under close supervision of an experienced clinician and in a setting with appropriate medical support to manage infusion-related reactions.1 (See Infusion Reactions under Cautions.)

  • Prior to initiating therapy, screen all patients for HBV infection.1 (See Contraindications and also see Infectious Complications under Cautions.)

  • Complete any necessary immunizations ≥6 weeks prior to initiating therapy.1

  • Prior to each infusion, evaluate patients for active infections; delay infusion until the infection resolves.1

  • To minimize risk of infusion-related reactions, administer IV methylprednisolone 100 mg (or equivalent corticosteroid) 30 minutes prior to each infusion and an antihistamine (e.g., diphenhydramine) approximately 30–60 minutes prior to each infusion.1 May also consider premedication with an antipyretic (e.g., acetaminophen).1 Monitor for infusion reactions during and for ≥1 hour after each infusion.1 (See Infusion Reactions under Cautions.)


IV Administration

For solution compatibility information, see Compatibility under Stability.

Administer by IV infusion.1

Vials are for single use only.1

Use strict aseptic technique since drug contains no preservatives.1

Administer diluted solution through a separate IV line using a 0.2- or 0.22-µm inline filter.1


The commercially available injection concentrate containing 300 mg/10 mL must be diluted in 0.9% sodium chloride injection to a final concentration of approximately 1.2 mg/mL prior to IV infusion.1 Do not use other IV diluents.1

To prepare a 300-mg dose, withdraw 10 mL of injection concentrate and add to an infusion bag containing 250 mL of 0.9% sodium chloride injection.1

To prepare a 600-mg dose, withdraw 20 mL of injection concentrate and add to an infusion bag containing 500 mL of 0.9% sodium chloride injection.1

Administer immediately following dilution.1 If not used immediately, follow manufacturer's recommended storage procedures.1 (See Storage under Stability.)

Rate of Administration

Initial 2 doses (300 mg): Infuse over ≥2.5 hours.1 Initiate at a rate of 30 mL/hour; may increase by 30 mL/hour every 30 minutes to a maximum rate of 180 mL/hour.1

Subsequent doses (600 mg): Infuse over ≥3.5 hours.1 Initiate at a rate of 40 mL/hour; may increase by 40 mL/hour every 30 minutes to a maximum rate of 200 mL/hour.1

Therapy Modifications for Infusion Reactions

If a life-threatening or disabling infusion reaction occurs, immediately and permanently discontinue ocrelizumab and provide appropriate supportive therapy.1

If a severe infusion reaction occurs, immediately interrupt infusion and provide appropriate symptomatic and supportive therapy.1 Once the reaction has resolved, may resume infusion at half the rate at the onset of the reaction; if this reduced rate is tolerated, may increase infusion rate in usually recommended increments and intervals.1 (See Rate of Administration under Dosage and Administration.)

If a mild or moderate infusion reaction occurs, reduce infusion rate to half the rate at the onset of the reaction and maintain this rate for at least 30 minutes; if this reduced rate is tolerated, may increase infusion rate in usually recommended increments and intervals.1 (See Rate of Administration under Dosage and Administration.)



Relapsing-remitting or Primary Progressive Forms

Initiate therapy with two 300-mg infusions administered 2 weeks apart.1

Maintenance dosage: 600 mg once every 6 months, starting 6 months after first 300-mg infusion.1

If a dose is missed, administer as soon as possible; do not wait until next scheduled dose.1 Adjust schedule of administration to maintain the 6-month interval between maintenance doses.1 Doses must be separated by at least 5 months.1

Special Populations

Hepatic Impairment

No specific dosage recommendations at this time.1

Renal Impairment

No specific dosage recommendations at this time.1

Geriatric Patients

No specific dosage recommendations at this time.1

Cautions for Ocrelizumab


  • Active HBV infection.1

  • History of life-threatening infusion reactions to ocrelizumab.1


Infusion Reactions

Infusion reactions reported in approximately 34–40% of patients receiving the drug in clinical studies, in some cases, requiring hospitalization.1 2 3 Occurred most frequently with first infusion, and decreased in incidence and severity over subsequent infusions.1 2 3

Manifestations may include pruritus, rash, urticaria, erythema, bronchospasm, throat irritation, oropharyngeal pain, dyspnea, pharyngeal or laryngeal edema, flushing, hypotension, pyrexia, fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, or tachycardia.1

Administer only in settings with appropriate medical support to manage serious infusion reactions.1 Administer appropriate premedication (i.e., corticosteroid and antihistamine, with or without an antipyretic).1 (See General under Dosage and Administration.) Monitor for infusion reactions during and for ≥1 hour after each infusion.1

Individualize management of infusion reactions; reduce infusion rate, interrupt infusion, or permanently discontinue therapy depending on severity, and provide appropriate supportive care.1 (See Therapy Modifications for Infusion Reactions under Dosage and Administration.)

Infectious Complications

Increased risk of infection (e.g., upper and lower respiratory tract, skin, herpes virus-related).1 2 3 Mostly mild to moderate in severity.1 Do not administer in patients with active infection; delay therapy until infection resolves.1

Although not reported with ocrelizumab,2 3 progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML; an opportunistic infection of the brain caused by the JC virus) reported with other anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies and MS therapies.1 Consider PML in any patient with new or worsening neurologic manifestations.1 If PML is suspected, withhold ocrelizumab and perform diagnostic evaluation.1 MRI signs of PML may be apparent before clinical manifestations develop.1

Although not reported with ocrelizumab, reactivation of HBV infection (resulting in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death) reported with other anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies.1 12 Screen all patients for HBV infection with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) tests prior to initiating therapy.1 (See Contraindications under Cautions.) Consult liver disease expert prior to initiating and during ocrelizumab therapy in patients who are HBsAg-negative and anti-HBc-positive, or HBV carriers (i.e., HBsAg-positive).1


Possible increased risk of malignancies (e.g., breast cancer).1 Follow standard breast cancer screening guidelines.1


Potential for immunogenicity.1 8 Development of anti-ocrelizumab (including neutralizing) antibodies reported.1 Clinical relevance of such antibodies not known.1

Specific Populations


No adequate data in pregnant women;1 may cause fetal harm.1 Transient peripheral B-cell depletion and lymphocytopenia reported in infants born to women exposed to other anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies during pregnancy.1

Avoid pregnancy during treatment and for 6 months after therapy.1 (See Advice to Patients.)


Not known whether distributed into human milk; distributed into milk in monkeys.1 Potential effects on nursing infants or on milk production not known.1

Consider known benefits of breast-feeding along with mother's clinical need for ocrelizumab and any potential adverse effects of the drug or disease on the infant.1

Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy not established.1

Geriatric Use

Insufficient experience in patients ≥65 years of age to determine whether geriatric patients respond differently than younger adults.1

Hepatic Impairment

Pharmacokinetics not influenced by mild hepatic impairment.1

Renal Impairment

Pharmacokinetics not influenced by mild renal impairment.1

Common Adverse Effects

Patients with relapsing-remitting MS: Upper respiratory tract infection,1 2 infusion reaction,1 2 depression,1 lower respiratory tract infection,1 back pain,1 herpes virus infection,1 2 pain in extremity.1

Patients with primary progressive MS: Upper respiratory tract infection,1 3 infusion reaction,1 3 skin infection,1 lower respiratory tract infection,1 cough,1 diarrhea,1 peripheral edema,1 herpes virus infection.1

Interactions for Ocrelizumab

No formal drug interaction studies performed to date.8 Drug interactions mediated by CYP enzymes, other metabolizing enzymes, or transporters not expected.8 Has not been studied in combination with other MS therapies.1


Administration of live or live attenuated vaccines not recommended during ocrelizumab therapy and until B-cell repletion occurs.1 Complete any necessary immunizations ≥6 weeks prior to initiation of therapy.1

Specific Drugs




Immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory agents

Potential for increased immunosuppression1

When switching therapies, consider duration and mechanism of action of drugs with prolonged immune effects (e.g., daclizumab, fingolimod, mitoxantrone, natalizumab, teriflunomide) to avoid unintended additive immunosuppressive effects1

Ocrelizumab Pharmacokinetics



Exhibits essentially linear and dose-proportional pharmacokinetics over dosage range of 400 mg to 2 g.1


Circulating CD19+ B cells are depleted within 14 days of infusion.1 9


Median time to B-cell recovery to baseline or lower limit of normal (LLN) was 72 weeks (range: 27–175 weeks) after last infusion.1 B-cell counts returned to baseline or LLN in 90% of patients within 2.5 years of the last infusion.1

Special Populations

Mild renal or hepatic impairment does not affect pharmacokinetics.1

Gender, race, or body weight does not substantially affect pharmacokinetics.8



Not known whether ocrelizumab crosses the placenta or is distributed into milk;1 however, immunoglobulins cross the placenta and are distributed into milk.1



Presumed to be catabolized in the same manner as other antibodies.1


26 days.1




Concentrate for IV Infusion

2–8°C in original carton; protect from light.1 Do not freeze or shake.1

Following dilution, infuse immediately or store in refrigerator (2–8°C) for ≤24 hours followed by an additional 8 hours (including infusion time) at room temperature (≤25°C).1 Discard remaining solution if infusion cannot be completed in same day.1


For information on systemic interactions resulting from concomitant use, see Interactions.


No incompatibilities observed with PVC or polyolefin bags and administration sets.1

Solution Compatibility


Sodium chloride 0.9%


  • A recombinant, humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody that binds specifically to CD20 (expressed on pre-B cells, mature B cells, and memory B cells).1 2 3 9

  • Binding to CD20 triggers host immune response involving antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) and results in depletion of CD20-expressing B cells.1 2 7 9

  • Because CD20 is not expressed on lymphoid stem cells or plasma cells, B-cell reconstitution and preexisting humoral immunity are preserved.2 3 7 10

  • Although exact mechanism in MS not fully elucidated, depletion of B cells is thought to result in the drug's immunomodulatory effects.1 9

Advice to Patients

  • Importance of advising patients to read the manufacturer's patient information (medication guide).1

  • Risk of infusion reactions; importance of informing patients that they will need to be monitored for ≥1 hour after each infusion.1 Advise patients that infusion reactions may occur up to 24 hours after each infusion and to immediately contact their clinician if they experience any manifestations of such a reaction (e.g., rash, urticaria, cough or wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat, flushing, dizziness, tachycardia).1

  • Risk of infections; importance of advising patients to immediately contact their clinician if they develop any signs or symptoms of infection (e.g., fever, chills, cough, cold sores, shingles, genital sores) during or after ocrelizumab therapy.1

  • Importance of informing patients that PML has occurred in patients treated with drugs that are similar to ocrelizumab and that the condition usually leads to death or severe disability over weeks or months.1 Advise patients to inform their clinician if they develop any new or worsening neurologic symptoms suggestive of PML.1 (See Infectious Complications under Cautions.)

  • Risk of reactivation of HBV infection.1 Advise patients that monitoring will be required if they are at risk.1

  • Importance of patients completing any necessary vaccinations ≥6 weeks prior to the start of ocrelizumab therapy; advise patients that they should not receive live or live attenuated vaccine if they have recently received ocrelizumab.1

  • Risk of malignancies, including breast cancer.1 Advise patients to follow standard breast cancer screening guidelines.1

  • Importance of women informing clinicians if they are or plan to become pregnant or plan to breast-feed.1 Advise women of childbearing potential of the need for effective contraception during therapy and for 6 months after the last dose of ocrelizumab.1

  • Importance of informing clinicians of recent, existing, or contemplated concomitant therapy, including prescription and OTC drugs and dietary or herbal supplements, as well as any concomitant illnesses (e.g., active infections).1

  • Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information.1 (See Cautions.)


Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.

Please refer to the ASHP Drug Shortages Resource Center for information on shortages of one or more of these preparations.



Dosage Forms


Brand Names



For injection concentrate, for IV Infusion

30 mg/mL (300 mg)



AHFS DI Essentials. © Copyright 2019, Selected Revisions December 4, 2017. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.


1. Genentech, Inc. Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) injection for intravenous use prescribing information. South San Francisco, CA; 2017 Mar.

2. Hauser SL, Bar-Or A, Comi G et al. Ocrelizumab versus Interferon Beta-1a in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. N Engl J Med. 2017; 376:221-234.

3. Montalban X, Hauser SL, Kappos L et al. Ocrelizumab versus Placebo in Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. N Engl J Med. 2017; 376:209-220.

4. . Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) for MS. Med Lett Drugs Ther. 2017; 59:98-101.

5. Shirani A, Okuda DT, Stüve O. Therapeutic Advances and Future Prospects in Progressive Forms of Multiple Sclerosis. Neurotherapeutics. 2016; 13:58-69.

6. Ontaneda D, Fox RJ. Progressive multiple sclerosis. Curr Opin Neurol. 2015; 28:237-43.

7. Bittner S, Ruck T, Wiendl H et al. Targeting B cells in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: from pathophysiology to optimal clinical management. Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2017; 10:51-66.

8. US Food and Drug Administration. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Application number 761052Orig1s000: Clinical pharmacology and biopharmaceutics review(s). From FDA website.

9. Frampton JE. Ocrelizumab: First Global Approval. Drugs. 2017; 77:1035-1041.

10. Jakimovski D, Weinstock-Guttman B, Ramanathan M et al. Ocrelizumab: a B-cell depleting therapy for multiple sclerosis. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2017; 17:1163-1172.

11. US Food and Drug Administration. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Application number 761053Orig1s000: Summary review. From FDA website.

12. US Food and Drug Administration. FDA drug safety communication: Boxed Warning and new recommendations to decrease risk of hepatitis B reactivation with the immune-suppressing and anti-cancer drugs Arzerra (ofatumumab) and Rituxan (rituximab). Rockville, MD; 2013 Sept 25. From FDA website.

13. Lublin FD, Reingold SC, Cohen JA et al. Defining the clinical course of multiple sclerosis: the 2013 revisions. Neurology. 2014; 83:278-86.