This medication is used to treat certain bowel disorders (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease). In these conditions, the body's defense system (immune system) attacks healthy tissues in the gut, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain, blood in the stool, and diarrhea. Vedolizumab belongs to a class of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies. It works by blocking the actions of a certain natural substance (integrin) in the body. This helps to decrease swelling (inflammation) in the gut, which lessens symptoms and may slow or stop damage from these bowel disorders.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using vedolizumab and each time you get a treatment. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Discuss the risks and benefits of vedolizumab treatment.
This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. It should be injected slowly over 30 minutes. After the first dose, you will usually receive the next two doses 2 weeks and 6 weeks later. After the third dose, this medication is given as directed by your doctor, usually every 8 weeks.
Serious allergic reactions can happen during or even several hours after your treatment. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk. If you have a serious reaction, your treatment will be temporarily stopped. Get medical help right away if you have shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, flushing, or rash/itching.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. It may help to mark your calendar with a reminder.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
See also How to Use section.
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 right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mouth/throat pain, pain in your arms/legs, symptoms of liver damage (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).
This medication may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat, cough).
This medication may increase your risk of getting a rare but very serious (possibly fatal) brain infection (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy-PML). Get medical help right away if you have any of these side effects: clumsiness, loss of coordination/balance, weakness, sudden change in your thinking (such as confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss), difficulty talking/walking, seizure, vision changes.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before using vedolizumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: symptoms of infection (such as fever, chills, sore throat, cough, runny nose), current/past/returning infections (such as tuberculosis), cancer.
Vedolizumab can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have had any recent immunizations. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: other drugs that weaken the immune system/increase the risk of infection (such as natalizumab, rituximab, TNF blockers such as adalimumab/infliximab).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as endoscopy, liver function tests) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised June 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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