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Generic Name: ocrelizumab (OK re LIZ ue mab)
Brand Name: Ocrevus

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Jun 3, 2020.

What is Ocrevus?

Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) is a monoclonal antibody that affects the actions of the body's immune system. Monoclonal antibodies are made to target and destroy only certain cells in the body. This may help to protect healthy cells from damage.

Ocrevus is used to treat primary progressive multiple sclerosis and relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in adults (including clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease).

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

Important information

Ocrevus may cause unpleasant side effects. Some side effects may occur during the injection or up to 24 hours later. Tell your caregiver if you feel dizzy, nauseated, itchy, or have chest tightness, trouble breathing, or swelling in your throat.

Ocrevus affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor if you have a fever, chills, cough, mouth sores, skin sores or blisters, itching, tingling, burning pain, or problems with speech, thought, vision, or muscle movement.

If you've ever had hepatitis B, it may become active or get worse while you are using or after you stop using ocrelizumab. You may need frequent liver function tests for several months.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with Ocrevus if you are allergic to ocrelizumab, or if you have:

  • active infection with hepatitis B.

Your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have hepatitis B or other infections.

You should not receive any "live" or "live-attenuated" vaccine, within the 4 weeks before you start treatment with Ocrevus. If you need a "non-live" vaccine, you should receive it at least 2 weeks before you start treatment with ocrelizumab.

Also tell your doctor if:

  • you have any type of active infection;

  • you are a carrier of hepatitis B; or

  • you have ever used medicine that can weaken your immune system.

Using Ocrevus may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.

It is not known whether Ocrevus will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your last dose.

If you are pregnant, you will need to tell your baby's doctor if you used ocrelizumab during pregnancy, especially before the baby receives any childhood vaccines.

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

Ocrevus is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How is Ocrevus given?

Ocrevus is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Before you start treatment with Ocrevus, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have hepatitis B or other infections.

You may be given other medications to prevent certain side effects of ocrelizumab.

Your first dose will be split into 2 separate infusions. You will receive these infusions 2 weeks apart. The following doses will be given once every 6 months.

Ocrevus must be given slowly, and the infusion can take from 2.5 to 3.5 hours to complete.

You may be given other medications to help prevent serious side effects of ocrelizumab.

You will be watched closely for at least 1 hour after receiving Ocrevus, to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction to the medication.

Ocrelizumab affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Your doctor will need to examine you on a regular basis.

If you've ever had hepatitis B, this virus may become active or get worse during treatment with ocrelizumab or in the months after you stop using this medicine. You may need frequent liver function tests while using this medicine and for several months after your last dose.

Ocrevus dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Multiple Sclerosis:

Initial dose: 300 mg IV followed 2 weeks later by a second 300 mg IV infusion
Maintenance dose: 600 mg IV every 6 months

Manufacturer recommended infusion rates (consult manufacturer product information for more information):
-Infusions 1 and 2 (300 mg of this drug in 250 mL 0.9% sodium chloride injection): Start at 30 mL/hr and increase by 30 mL/hr every 30 minutes to a maximum of 180 mL/hr; duration of 2.5 hours or longer
-Subsequent infusions (600 mg of this drug in 500 mL 0.9% sodium chloride injection): Start at 40 mL/hr and increase by 40 mL/hr every 30 minutes to a maximum of 200 mL/hr; duration of 3.5 hours or longer

-The patient should be premedicated with methylprednisolone (or an equivalent corticosteroid) 100 mg IV approximately 30 minutes prior to each infusion and an antihistamine (e.g., diphenhydramine) approximately 30 to 60 minutes prior to each infusion; the addition of an antipyretic (e.g., acetaminophen) may also be considered.
-The patient should be observed for at least one hour after the completion of the infusion.
-If a planned infusion is missed, administer it as soon as possible; do not wait until the next scheduled dose. Reset the dose schedule to administer the next sequential dose 6 months after the missed dose is administered. Doses must be sep>ted by at least 5 months.

Use: For the treatment of patients with relapsing or primary progressive forms of multiple sclerosis

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of Ocrevus.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving Ocrevus?

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using Ocrevus, or within 4 weeks before you start using this medicine. You could develop a serious infection. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Ask your doctor before getting a yearly flu shot while you are being treated with Ocrevus.

Ocrevus side effects

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

Some side effects may occur during the injection or up to 24 hours later. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, sleepy, nauseated, light-headed, feverish, sweaty, itchy, or have a red skin rash, headache, fast heartbeats, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or swelling and irritation in your throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast heart beats, tiredness;

  • headache, nausea, dizziness;

  • itchy skin, rash, hives;

  • fever, chills, cough;

  • throat pain or irritation;

  • wheezing, breathing problem, feeling short of breath;

  • flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);

  • skin sores, blisters, pus, or oozing;

  • cold sores or fever blisters on or around your lips;

  • nerve pain (tingling, burning pain, "pins and needles" feeling);

  • mood or behavior changes, confusion, memory problems;

  • weakness on one side of your body; or

  • problems with vision, speech, or muscle movement.

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

Common Ocrevus side effects may include:

  • skin infections;

  • reactions to an injection; or

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

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 Ocrevus?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you have recently used to treat multiple sclerosis.

Other drugs may interact with ocrelizumab, 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 Ocrevus only for the indication prescribed.

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

Popular FAQ

Ocrevus is not chemotherapy, it is a type of targeted treatment that works by binding to a protein called CD20 that is present on the surface of B-lymphocytes. Ocrevus may be used to reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of relapse, and delay the rate of disease progression in people with multiple sclerosis.

  Continue reading

Ocrevus starts to work within about 12 weeks; however, it may take a few years for the full effects to be seen. Continue reading

Ocrevus costs , 974 for one 300mg/10mL dose of Ocrevus intravenous solution depending on the pharmacy you visit and based on using the discount card. This price is for cash paying customers and is not valid with insurance plans. This works out to an annual cost of just over ,000 per year; however, most people do not pay this amount.

For people with commercial or private insurance the cost is around per treatment; for those with Medicare, between

Ocrevus works in MS by targeting a specific protein, called CD20 that exists on the surface of immature and mature B-lymphocytes. B lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell which are thought to contribute to the development of MS in several different ways, including secreting antibodies during an MS attack that cause inflammation which damages the myelin coating around nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. When Ocrevus binds to CD20, it causes B-cells to self-destruct or disintegrate, which reduces the number of MS relapse and the rate of disability progression. Continue reading

An Ocrevus infusion takes at least 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on how long you have been having the infusion for and if you develop any infusion reactions during the process. However, the whole infusion appointment will take around 5 to 6 hours, because there is a pre-infusion check-up, during which you will receive medications that reduce infusion reactions, and you will need to wait for at least an hour post-infusion so your healthcare team can monitor you for any side effects or infusion reactions. Continue reading

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