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Soliris Patient Information including How Should I Take
In this Article
- What is eculizumab (Soliris)?
- What are the possible side effects of eculizumab (Soliris)?
- What is the most important information I should know about eculizumab (Soliris)?
- What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking eculizumab (Soliris)?
- How is eculizumab given (Soliris)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Soliris)?
- What happens if I overdose (Soliris)?
- What should I avoid while taking eculizumab (Soliris)?
- What other drugs will affect eculizumab (Soliris)?
- Where can I get more information?
What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking eculizumab (Soliris)?
Eculizumab affects your immune system, and using this medication may increase your risk of serious infection such as meningitis. Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of meningitis, such as severe headache with fever, confusion, purple spots on the skin, and nausea or vomiting, stiffness in your neck or back, sensitivity to bright light, or a high fever (103 degrees or higher), chills, body aches, and other flu-like symptoms.
You must be vaccinated against meningococcal infection at least 2 weeks before you start treatment with eculizumab. If you have been vaccinated in the past, you may need a booster dose. It is best to stay current on all of your vaccinations while you are using eculizumab, and your doctor may recommend other vaccines before or during treatment.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to eculizumab, if you have bacterial meningitis, or if you have not been vaccinated against meningitis.
With your medication you will receive a Patient Safety Card listing the symptoms of meningococcal infection. Carry this card with you at all times. Seek emergency medical attention or call your doctor right away if you notice any of these symptoms.
Eculizumab is available only under a special program called Soliris REMS. You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the risks and benefits of taking this medication.
To make sure you can safely use eculizumab, tell your doctor if you have a fever or any type of infection.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether eculizumab will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether eculizumab passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is eculizumab given (Soliris)?
Eculizumab is injected into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.
Eculizumab is usually given every 7 days for 5 weeks, and then once every 2 weeks thereafter. Follow your doctor's instructions. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take up to 2 hours to complete.
You may have a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). If this happens, you may need to slow down the speed of your IV infusion, and the infusion should not take more than 2 hours to complete. A caregiver or family member should then watch you for at least 1 hour after your injection to make sure you have no further side effects.
Eculizumab must be mixed in an IV bag with a liquid (diluent) before injecting it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication.
To reduce discomfort from your injection, allow the mixed medicine to reach room temperature before using, but never warm the medicine in hot water or a microwave. You may store the mixture at room temperature but you must use it within 24 hours or throw the mixture away.
Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
Do not stop using eculizumab without first talking to your doctor. Stopping or interrupting your treatment could cause sudden and serious effects on your red blood cells. This may result in symptoms such as pale skin, easy bruising, confusion, chest pain, blood clots, or kidney problems.
If you stop using eculizumab for any reason, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis for 8 to 12 weeks. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor during this follow-up period.
Store in the refrigerator. Protect from light and do not freeze. Keep unopened eculizumab vials in their original carton. Throw away any unused vials after the expiration date on the label has passed.
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