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Additional Details
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Drug Guide    A   Alefacept

  Prescription drug information   Post your opinion about this drug  

   Alefacept

Alefacept
IV


This medication is used to treat a certain skin condition (psoriasis). In psoriasis, certain cells involved in the body's natural defense (immune system) are too active, resulting in the buildup of plaques/dead skin cells. This buildup can cause unsightly patches of skin, discomfort, and pain. Alefacept is a protein that works by affecting the body's immune system to decrease plaques/dead skin cells.This medication is not recommended for use in people with a certain virus infection (HIV). Consult your doctor for details.

 
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 Alefacept images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Alefacept

Uses
This medication is used to treat a certain skin condition (psoriasis). In psoriasis, certain cells involved in the body's natural defense (immune system) are too active, resulting in the buildup of plaques/dead skin cells. This buildup can cause unsightly patches of skin, discomfort, and pain. Alefacept is a protein that works by affecting the body's immune system to decrease plaques/dead skin cells.This medication is not recommended for use in people with a certain virus infection (HIV). Consult your doctor for details.
Notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood counts, liver function) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.

Storage
  • Store the unmixed product in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) away from light.
  • After mixing, use immediately or store in the refrigerator.
  • Use or discard the mixed product within 4 hours.
  • For other storage details, check the package storage information or ask your pharmacist.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.


How To Use
  • Read and learn all preparation and usage instructions given by the manufacturer.
  • Before using, check the product visually for particles or discoloration.
  • If either is present, do not use the liquid.
  • If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.This medication is given by injection into a vein, usually once weekly for 12 weeks or as directed by your doctor.
  • While you are using this medication, your doctor will order regular blood tests (usually every 2 weeks) to check for serious side effects (e.g., low blood counts).
  • If serious side effects occur, your doctor may choose to delay or stop your treatment.If your doctor directs you to have more than 1 treatment period (12 weekly injections), the manufacturer recommends that you should wait at least 12 weeks between treatment periods.Learn how to store and discard needles and medical supplies safely.
  • Consult your pharmacist for details.Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

Side Effects
  • Mild pain/swelling/bleeding at the injection site and chills may occur.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: symptoms of liver damage (e.g., severe nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin).Rarely, this medication may increase the risk of developing cancer.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms such as: unusual lumps, swollen glands, skin sores/spots that are new or change appearance.This medication can lower the body's ability to fight an infection.
  • Tell your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, muscle aches, or persistent sore throat.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.
  • However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of tongue/lips/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before receiving alefacept, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: cancer, current infection, immune system problems, liver disease, other treatments for psoriasis (including UV light).Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk.
  • However, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.

Drug Interactions
  • Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
  • Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription products you may use, especially of: other drugs that may affect your immune system (e.g., cancer chemotherapy, prednisone, cyclosporine).

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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