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What is this drug and what is it used for?
LEMTRADA contains the active substance alemtuzumab, which is used to treat a form of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in adults, called Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS). LEMTRADA does not cure MS, but it can reduce the number of MS relapses. It can also help to slow down or reverse some of the signs and symptoms of MS. In clinical studies, patients treated with LEMTRADA had fewer relapses and were less likely to experience worsening of their disability compared to patients treated with a beta-interferon injected multiple times per week.
How is this drug given?
The initial treatment
You will receive one infusion per day for 5 days (course 1) and one infusion per day for 3 days one year later (course 2).
There is no LEMTRADA treatment between the two courses. Two treatment courses may reduce MS activity for up to 6 years.
Some patients, if they have symptoms or signs of MS disease after the initial two courses, may receive one or two additional treatment courses consisting of one infusion per day for 3 days. These additional treatment courses may be adminisitered twelve months or more after the prior treatments.
The maximum daily dose is one infusion.
LEMTRADA will be given to you as an infusion into a vein. Each infusion will take approximately 4 hours.
Monitoring for side effects and regular testing must continue for 4 years after the last infusion.
Possible side effects
The most important side effects are the autoimmune conditions which include:
- ITP (bleeding disorders), (common – may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
- Kidney disorders, (rare – may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
- Thyroid disorders (very common – may affect more than 1 in 10 people)
- Red and white blood cells disorders (uncommon – may affect up to 1 in 100 people)