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Ravulizumab

Generic name: ravulizumab (RAV ue LIZ ue mab)
Brand name: Ultomiris
Dosage forms: intravenous solution (10 mg/mL; 100 mg/mL)
Drug class: Selective immunosuppressants

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Jun 14, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is ravulizumab?

Ravulizumab is used to treat paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) in adults and children at least 1 month old.

Ravulizumab is also used to treat a rare chronic blood disease called atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) in adults and children at least 1 month old. ravulizumab is not for use in treating HUS that is related to Shiga toxin E. coli.

Ravulizumab is available only under a special program. You must be registered in the program and understand the risks and benefits of this medicine.

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

Warnings

You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor if you have a fever, flu-like symptoms, muscle pain, headache, confusion, neck or back stiffness, vomiting, rash, or your eyes are more sensitive to light.

You will need to receive certain vaccinations before you start using ravulizumab.

Read the Patient Safety Card about serious infections and the symptoms to watch for. Keep this card with you at all times while using ravulizumab and for at least 8 months after your last dose.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with ravulizumab if you are allergic to it, if you have a meningococcal infection (such as meningitis or sepsis), or if you are not currently vaccinated against meningitis (unless the risks of delaying treatment outweigh the risks of developing meningitis).

You will need to receive a vaccine to protect against meningococcal infections at least 2 weeks before you start using ravulizumab. If your child is treated with ravulizumab, make sure he or she is vaccinated against pneumonia and influenza type B (Hib).

If you need to start receiving ravulizumab before you are vaccinated, you may be given antibiotic medicine to take during the first 2 weeks of ravulizumab treatment.

Tell your doctor if you have recently had any symptoms of infection (fever, chills, or flu-like symptoms).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known whether ravulizumab will harm an unborn baby. However, having PNH during pregnancy may cause complications in the baby or the mother, including blood clots, infections, bleeding, miscarriage, premature delivery, or death. The benefit of treating PNH may outweigh any risks to the baby or the mother.

Do not breastfeed while using ravulizumab, and for at least 8 months after your last dose.

Not approved for use by anyone younger than 1 month old.

How is ravulizumab given?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

If you've been using another drug called eculizumab (Soliris), you will need to wait 2 weeks after your last dose of eculizumab before starting treatment with ravulizumab.

Ravulizumab is injected into a vein by a healthcare provider. The first two infusions are usually given 2 weeks apart, followed by an infusion once every 4-8 weeks.

After each infusion, you will be watched closely for at least 1 hour to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction.

Doses are based on weight. Your dose may change if you gain or lose weight.

You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. You will need frequent medical tests.

Read the Patient Safety Card about serious infections and the symptoms to watch for. Keep this card with you at all times while using ravulizumab and for at least 8 months after your last dose. Your infection risk could last for several months after you stop using ravulizumab.

Some people may have an increased risk of gonorrhea (a sexually transmitted disease). Talk with your doctor about safe ways to keep from getting an infection during sex.

Ravulizumab can have long lasting effects on your body, even after you stop using this medicine. If you have PNH and you stop using ravulizumab, your doctor may need to check your progress for at least 16 weeks after your last dose. If you have aHUS and you stop using ravulizumab, your doctor may need to check you for at least 12 months after your last dose.

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What happens if I miss a dose?

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

What happens if I overdose?

In a medical setting an overdose would be treated quickly.

What should I avoid while receiving ravulizumab?

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

Ravulizumab 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 if you feel light-headed or if you have chest pain, trouble breathing, or swelling in your face.

Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • muscle pain with flu-like symptoms;

  • fever and a rash;

  • fever and a headache;

  • headache and stiffness in your neck or back;

  • headache and nausea or vomiting;

  • confusion; or

  • your eyes may be more sensitive to light.

Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of gonorrhea, such as:

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • pain or swelling of the genital or rectal area;

  • unusual vaginal bleeding; or

  • foul discharge from the penis or vagina.

If you stop using ravulizumab, tell your doctor if you have any new or worsening symptoms, such as: tiredness, confusion, stomach pain, chest pain, trouble breathing or swallowing, (in men) trouble having an erection, blood in your urine, a seizure, or loss of consciousness.

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 ravulizumab?

Other drugs may affect ravulizumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

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.