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Spinraza (injection)

Generic Name: nusinersen (injection) (NUE si NER sen)
Brand Name: Spinraza

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Jul 26, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Spinraza?

Spinraza works by helping the body produce a protein essential to the function of nerves that control muscle movement. This protein is lacking in people with an inherited disorder called spinal muscular atrophy caused by a mutation in a specific gene.

Spinraza is used to treat spinal muscular atrophy in adults, children, and infants.

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

Important Information

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Spinraza.

Before taking this medicine

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

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease.

It is not known whether Spinraza will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

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

How is Spinraza given?

Your doctor will perform blood and urine tests to make sure you do not have conditions that would prevent you from safely receiving this medicine.

Spinraza is injected directly into the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid). A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

The Spinraza takes about 1 to 3 minutes to complete. You may be given a sedative to help you relax and keep you comfortable during the injection.

Spinraza is usually given in a series of 4 "loading dose" injections, followed by "maintenance" injections.

The first 3 loading doses are usually given 2 weeks apart, followed by a 4th loading dose given 1 month later. Maintenance doses are then given once every 4 months.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Spinraza. Your dosing schedule may need to be adjusted to allow for enough time between doses.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while receiving Spinraza?

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

Spinraza 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • chest pain, shortness of breath;

  • a red skin rash; or

  • kidney problems--foamy urine; red or brown colored urine; swelling in your face, stomach, hands, or feet.

Spinraza may affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using Spinraza.

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 Spinraza?

Other drugs may interact with nusinersen, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now 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.

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