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Info about Raptiva

Brand Name(s): Raptiva

Generic Name Efalizumab

What is Efalizumab injection?

EFALIZUMAB (Raptiva™) is used to help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis. It may take at least two weeks or longer from the time of the first injection before you see any effects of the treatment. Generic efalizumab injections are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive Efalizumab?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • chronic or recurrent infections
  • history of cancer
  • low platelet counts
  • other conditions affecting the immune system
  • an unusual reaction to Efalizumab, mouse proteins, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should this medicine be used?

Efalizumab is given as an injection under the skin once weekly. Use efalizumab the same day each week. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You may give efalizumab injections to yourself or receive your injections in a clinic or doctor's office. Your prescriber or health care professional will instruct you and/or your caregiver in preparing and injecting your first dose (or first few doses). Make sure you or your caregiver understand how to prepare and give the product. Rotate sites where you inject efalizumab. Usual sites of injection include the thigh, stomach, and upper arms. Do not attempt to prepare or give the medicine by yourself if you do not understand how to mix and inject a dose.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, contact your healthcare provider to find out when to take your next dose of efalizumab and what schedule to follow after that. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with Efalizumab?

  • other medicines that may suppress your immune system
  • vaccines

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from receiving Efalizumab?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
  • signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, nosebleeds
  • worsening of psoriasis

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • back pain
  • chills
  • fever
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • muscle aches
  • nausea
  • swelling of the arms or legs
  • weakness

What should I watch for while taking Efalizumab?

See your healthcare provider regularly while using efalizumab. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests including platelet counts before and during treatment with efalizumab to check its affect on your body. Do not change your dose or stop taking efalizumab without talking with your healthcare provider.

Efalizumab may decrease your body's ability to fight infections. Call your prescriber or health care professional if you have a fever, chills, sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat these symptoms yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

Efalizumab may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your prescriber or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding. Be careful not to cut, bruise or injure yourself because you may get an infection and bleed more than usual.

After you stop taking this medication, some side effects can continue and some may not occur until years after the medicine was taken. These effects can include the development of certain types of cancer. Discuss this possibility with your prescriber or health care professional.

Some patients have experienced worsening of their condition or new forms of psoriasis while taking efalizumab. Tell your healthcare provider right away if your psoriasis gets worse or if you see any new rashes during or after treatment.

You should not receive vaccines while using efalizumab. Efalizumab may prevent a vaccine from working. Talk to your health care provider if you need to receive a vaccine while using efalizumab.

It is not know if efalizumab can harm your unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking efalizumab or within 6 weeks of stopping efalizumab therapy, notify your health care provider right away. You and your healthcare provider will have to decide if efalizumab therapy during your pregnancy is right for you.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store efalizumab vials in the refrigerator 36 and 46 °F (2 and 8 °C) until you are ready to prepare your injection. Do not freeze or store at room temperature. Once efalizumab has been mixed, you should use it right away. If you are unable to inject the drug after mixing, the solution can stay at room temperature for up to 8 hours. Do not use efalizumab injection that was mixed more than 8 hours earlier.

Throw away unused vials of efalizumab after the expiration date on the vial.

Make sure you receive a puncture-resistant container to dispose of the needles and syringes once you have finished with them. Do not reuse these items. Return the container to your prescriber or healthcare professional for proper disposal.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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