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Generic Name: daratumumab (DAR a TOOM ue mab)
Brand Name: Darzalex

Medically reviewed by on Aug 2, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is daratumumab?

Daratumumab is a monoclonal antibody that blocks a certain protein in the body that can affect tumor cell growth. Monoclonal antibodies are made to target and destroy only certain cells in the body. This may help to protect healthy cells from damage.

Daratumumab is used to treat multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer). Daratumumab is usually given after other treatments have failed.

Daratumumab is sometimes used in combination with other cancer medicines plus a steroid medicine called dexamethasone.

Daratumumab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

If you need to receive a blood transfusion, be sure to tell your caregivers that you are being treated with daratumumab.

If you've ever had hepatitis B, using daratumumab can cause this virus to become active or get worse. Tell your doctor if you don't feel well and you have right-sided upper stomach pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with daratumumab if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Daratumumab may harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using daratumumab and for at least 3 months after your last dose.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How is daratumumab given?

Daratumumab is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Daratumumab is usually given every 1 to 3 weeks during the first several weeks of treatment. Then it is given once every 4 weeks until your body no longer responds to the medicine. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with daratumumab.

You may be given other medications to help prevent serious side effects or an allergic reaction. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

You will need frequent medical tests.

Daratumumab can affect blood tests that are used to match your blood type. If you need to receive a blood transfusion, be sure to tell your caregivers that you are being treated with daratumumab.

Daratumumab can affect blood-typing tests for up to 6 months after you stop using this medicine.

If you've ever had hepatitis B, using daratumumab can cause this virus to become active or get worse. You may need frequent liver function tests while using this medicine and for several months after you stop.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your daratumumab injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since daratumumab is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving daratumumab?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Daratumumab side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, itchy, nauseated, or if you have a headache, stuffy nose, runny nose, cough, fever, chills, wheezing, trouble breathing, or a tight feeling in your throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • cough with yellow or green mucus;

  • stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath;

  • numbness, tingling, burning pain; or

  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.

Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect daratumumab?

Other drugs may affect daratumumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.