alefacept

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alefacept

Pronunciation:ah LEH fa cept
Brand:Amevive

What is the most important information I should know about alefacept?

donotPatients with HIV should not take alefacept. Talk to your doctor before taking alefacept if you are HIV positive.

Alefacept reduces levels of certain white blood cells in the body. If the level of these white blood cells falls too low, treatment with alefacept may need to be withheld temporarily or discontinued. Your doctor will monitor your white blood cell levels during treatment.

donotAlefacept may increase the risk of developing cancer. Do not use alefacept without first talking to your doctor if you have cancer or a history of cancer.
emtAlefacept reduces certain actions of the immune system and may increase the risk of developing a new infection or reactivating a chronic infection that has been latent (inactive). Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of an infection such as fever or chills, sore throat, coughing, or burning with urination.

What is alefacept?

Alefacept is a protein that reduces specific actions of the immune system that are involved in causing psoriasis.

Alefacept is used for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis in people who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

Alefacept may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using alefacept?

donotPatients with HIV should not take alefacept. Talk to your doctor before taking alefacept if you are HIV positive.
donotDo not use alefacept without first talking to your doctor if you
  • have had a previous allergic reaction to alefacept;
  • have heart or blood vessel problems;
  • have cancer or a history of cancer;
  • have an infection or a history of chronic infection; or
  • are taking another immunosuppressive medication or are receiving phototherapy.

You may not be able to use alefacept, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

nopregAlefacept is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use alefacept without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
nobrfeedIt is not known whether alefacept passes into breast milk. Do not use alefacept without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use alefacept?

Use alefacept exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain them to you.

Alefacept is administered by a healthcare provider as an intravenous (into the vein) or intramuscular (into the muscle) injection.

Alefacept is usually administered once a week for a twelve week period. Your doctor will give you detailed information on the best treatment regimen for you.

It is important to use alefacept regularly to get the most benefit.

Alefacept reduces levels of certain white blood cells in the body. If the level of these white blood cells falls too low, treatment with alefacept may need to be withheld temporarily or discontinued. Your doctor will monitor your white blood cell levels during treatment.

Your doctor will want you to have blood tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with alefacept to monitor progress and side effects

Alefacept will be stored by your healthcare provider as directed by the manufacturer.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of alefacept.

What happens if I overdose?

emtAn overdose of alefacept is unlikely to threaten life. Seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if an overdose of alefacept is suspected.

Symptoms of an alefacept overdose may include chills, headache, joint pain, stuffy nose, and low white blood cell counts.

What should I avoid while using alefacept?

Talk to your doctor before receiving vaccinations during treatment with alefacept. It is not known whether alefacept will reduce the actions of vaccines that use a live strain of the virus (e.g., measles, mumps, and rubella or MMR) if administered during treatment with alefacept.

What are the possible side effects of alefacept?

Alefacept reduces levels of certain white blood cells in the body. If the level of these white blood cells falls too low, treatment with alefacept may need to be withheld temporarily or discontinued. Your doctor will monitor your white blood cell levels during treatment.

donotAlefacept may increase the risk of developing cancer. Do not use alefacept without first talking to your doctor if you have cancer or a history of cancer.
emtAlefacept reduces certain actions of the immune system and may increase the risk of developing a new infection or reactivating a chronic infection that has been latent (inactive). Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of an infection such as fever or chills, sore throat, coughing, or burning with urination.
emtStop using alefacept and seek emergency medical attention if you develop symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to use alefacept and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • sore throat or cough;
  • dizziness;
  • headache
  • nausea;
  • itching;
  • muscle aches;
  • chills; or
  • pain, discomfort, or inflammation at the injection site.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect alefacept?

Talk to your doctor before receiving vaccinations during treatment with alefacept. It is not known whether alefacept will reduce the actions of vaccines that use live strains of the virus (e.g., measles, mumps, and rubella or MMR) if administered during treatment with alefacept.

Other medications that affect the immune system may interact with alefacept. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products during treatment with alefacept.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist has additional information about alefacept written for healthcare professionals that you may read.


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.

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