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.
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using alefacept and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is given by injection into a muscle as directed by your doctor, usually once weekly for 12 weeks. While you are using this medication, your doctor will order regular blood tests (usually every 2 weeks) to check for serious side effects (such as 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.
If you are giving the injections at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions in the product package and from your health care professional. If any of the information is unclear, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Before using, check the product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. It is important to change the location of the injection site with each dose. New injections should be given at least 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) away from an old site. Do not inject into areas that are sore, bruised, red, or hard.
Learn how to store and discard needles and medical supplies safely. Consult your pharmacist for details.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. If you are using this medication at home, use it on the same day each week.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
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.
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 the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before receiving alefacept, 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: cancer, current infection, immune system problems, liver disease, other treatments for psoriasis (including UV light).
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
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).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
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.
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.
If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
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.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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