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Last reviewed on RxList: 11/29/2016
Fabrazyme Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 5/13/2016

Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) for intravenous infusion is a man-made form of the naturally-occurring enzyme a-galactosidase A that is used in the treatment of Fabry disease. Common side effects of Fabrazyme include signs of allergic reaction such as:

  • difficulty breathing
  • closing of the throat
  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • fever
  • shaking
  • chest tightness
  • high or low blood pressure
  • fast heartbeats
  • muscle pain
  • stomach pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • dizziness
  • numbness or tingling, and
  • headache

The recommended dosage of Fabrazyme is 1.0 mg/kg body weight administered every 2 weeks as an IV infusion. Fabrazyme may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Fabrazyme is not expected to be harmful to a fetus. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) for intravenous infusion Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Fabrazyme Consumer Information

Symptoms of allergic or infusion reactions including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; hives; rash; itching; fever; shaking; chest tightness; high or low blood pressure; fast heartbeats; muscle pain; stomach pain; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; numbness or tingling; and headache have occurred upon injection of agalsidase beta in many patients. Most patients treated with agalsidase beta develop antibodies to agalsidase beta and many will develop symptoms of an infusion reaction. A slow rate of injection of the medication and pretreatment with other medications may decrease the severity of these symptoms. Emergency medical attention may be required if a severe allergic reaction is experienced.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Fabrazyme (Agalsidase Beta)

Fabrazyme Professional Information


Adverse Reactions in Clinical Studies

The most serious adverse reactions reported with Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) treatment during clinical trials were anaphylactic and allergic reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

The most common adverse reactions reported with Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) are infusion reactions, some of which were severe [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Serious and/or frequently occurring ( ≥ 5% incidence) related adverse reactions consisted of one or more of the following: chills, pyrexia, feeling hot or cold, dyspnea, nausea, flushing, headache, vomiting, paresthesia, fatigue, pruritus, pain in extremity, hypertension, chest pain, throat tightness, abdominal pain, dizziness, tachycardia, nasal congestion, diarrhea, edema peripheral, myalgia, back pain, pallor, bradycardia, urticaria, hypotension, face edema, rash, and somnolence. The occurrence of somnolence can be attributed to clinical trial specified pre-treatment with antihistamines. Most infusion-related reactions requiring intervention were ameliorated with slowing of the infusion rate, temporarily stopping the infusion, and/or administration of antipyretics, antihistamines, or steroids.

Other reported serious adverse events included stroke, pain, ataxia, bradycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, decreased cardiac output, vertigo, hypoacousia, and nephrotic syndrome. These adverse events also occur as manifestations of Fabry disease; an alteration in frequency or severity cannot be determined from the small numbers of patients studied.

The data described below reflect exposure of 80 patients, ages 16 to 61 years, to 1 mg/kg Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) every two weeks in two separate double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, for periods ranging from 1 to 35 months (mean 15.5 months). All 58 patients enrolled in one of the two studies continued into an open-label extension study of Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) treatment for up to 54 additional months. Patients were treated with antipyretics and antihistamines prior to the infusions.

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trial of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in patients in clinical practice.

Table 2 enumerates treatment-emergent adverse reactions (regardless of relationship) that occurred during the double-blind treatment periods of the two placebo-controlled trials (Study 1 and Study 2) [see Clinical Studies]. Reported adverse reactions have been classified by Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA) terminology System Organ Class and Preferred Term.

Table 2 : Summary of Adverse Reactions (regardless of relationship) Occurring in Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) Treated Patients at an Incidence Greater than 2.5% Compared to Placebo Treated Patients

MedDRA System Organ Class/ Preferred Term Fabrazyme
n=80 (%)
n=60 (%)
Cardiac Disorders
  Tachycardia 7 (9) 2 (3)
  Ventricular wall thickening 4 (5) 1 (2)
Ear and Labyrinth Disorders
  Tinnitus 6 (8) 2 (3)
  Hypoacusis 4 (5) 0
Gastrointestinal Disorders
  Toothache 5 (6) 2 (3)
  Dry mouth 3 (4) 0
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions
  Chills 34 (43) 7 (12)
  Pyrexia 31 (39) 13 (22)
  Fatigue 19 (24) 10 (17)
  Edema peripheral 17 (21) 4 (7)
  Pain 13 (16) 8 (13)
  Feeling cold 9 (11) 1 (2)
  Adverse event 8 (10) 3 (5)
  Chest discomfort 4 (5) 1 (2)
Infections and Infestations
  Upper respiratory tract infection 35 (44) 18 (30)
  Lower respiratory tract infection 14 (18) 4 (7)
  Sinusitis 7 (9) 2 (3)
  Pharyngitis 5 (6) 1 (2)
  Fungal infection 4 (5) 0
  Viral infection 4 (5) 0
  Localised infection 3 (4) 0
Injury, Poisoning and Procedural Complications
  Procedural pain 20 (25) 12 (20)
  Post procedural complication 8 (10) 1 (2)
  Excoriation 7 (9) 1 (2)
  Fall 5 (6) 2 (3)
  Contusion 3 (4) 0
  Thermal burn 3 (4) 0
  Blood creatinine increased 7 (9) 3 (5)
Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders
  Pain in extremity 15 (19) 5 (8)
  Back pain 13 (16) 6 (10)
  Myalgia 11 (14) 3 (5)
  Muscle spasms 4 (5) 1 (2)
Nervous System Disorders
  Headache 31 (39) 17 (28)
  Paresthesia 25 (31) 11 (18)
  Dizziness 17 (21) 5 (8)
  Burning sensation 5 (6) 0
Psychiatric Disorders
  Anxiety 5 (6) 2 (3)
  Depression 5 (6) 1 (2)
Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders
  Cough 26 (33) 15 (25)
  Nasal congestion 15 (19) 9 (15)
  Dyspnea 6 (8) 1 (2)
  Respiratory tract congestion 6 (8) 1 (2)
  Wheezing 5 (6) 0
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders
  Rash 16 (20) 6 (10)
  Pruritus 8 (10) 2 (3)
Vascular Disorders
  Hypertension 11 (14) 3(5)
  Hot flush 4 (5) 0

Observed adverse reactions in the Phase 1/2 study and the open-label treatment period for the extension study following the controlled study were not different in nature or intensity.

The safety profile of Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) in pediatric Fabry disease patients, ages 8 to 16 years, was found to be consistent with that seen in adults [see Use in Specific Populations and Clinical Studies]. The safety of Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) in patients younger than 8 years of age has not been evaluated.


Ninety-five of 121 (79%) adult patients and 11 of 16 (69%) pediatric patients (106 of 137, 74% of all patients) treated with Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) in clinical studies have developed IgG antibodies to Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) . Most patients who develop IgG antibodies do so within the first 3 months of exposure. IgG seroconversion in pediatric patients was associated with prolonged half-life of Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) , a phenomenon rarely observed in adult patients [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and Use in Specific Populations]. A possible cause for this prolongation likely pertains to the ability of antibodies to act as “carriers” for their antigens. Among the 14 female patients exposed to Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) in clinical studies, four (two adult and two pediatric patients) developed IgG antibodies to Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) .

IgG antibodies to Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) were purified from 15 patients with high antibody titers ( ≥ 12,800) and studied for inhibition of in vitro enzyme activity. Under the conditions of this assay, most of these 15 patients had inhibition of in vitro enzyme activity ranging between 21-74% at one or more timepoints during the study. Assessment of inhibition of enzyme uptake in cells has not been performed. No general pattern was seen in individual patient reactivity over time. The clinical significance of binding and/or inhibitory antibodies to Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) is not known. In patients followed in the open-label extension study, reduction of GL-3 in plasma and GL-3 inclusions in superficial skin capillaries was maintained after antibody formation.

As with all therapeutic proteins, there is potential for immunogenicity. The data reflect the percentage of patients whose test results were considered positive for antibodies to Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) using an ELISA and radioimmunoprecipitation (RIP) assay for antibodies. The incidence of antibody formation is highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Additionally, the observed incidence of antibody (including neutralizing antibody) positivity in an assay may be influenced by several factors including assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) with the incidence of antibodies to other products may be misleading.

Testing for IgE was performed in approximately 60 patients in clinical trials who experienced moderate to severe infusion reactions or in whom mast cell activation was suspected. Seven of these patients tested positive for Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) -specific IgE antibodies or had a positive skin test to Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) . Patients who have had a positive skin test to Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) , or who have tested positive for Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) -specific IgE antibodies in clinical trials with Fabrazyme have been re-challenged [see Clinical Studies, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Postmarketing Experience

In postmarketing experience with agalsidase beta, severe infusion-related reactions have been reported, some of which were life-threatening, including anaphylaxis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Reactions have included localized angioedema (including auricular swelling, eye swelling, dysphagia, lip swelling, edema, pharyngeal edema, face swelling, and swollen tongue), generalized urticaria, bronchospasm, and hypotension.

In addition to the adverse reactions reported in Adverse Reactions in Clinical Studies, the following adverse reactions have been reported during postmarketing use of agalsidase beta: arthralgia, asthenia, erythema, hyperhidrosis, infusion site reaction, lacrimation increased, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, lymphadenopathy, oral hypoesthesia, palpitations, and rhinorrhea. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a casual relationship to drug exposure.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Fabrazyme (Agalsidase Beta)

Related Resources for Fabrazyme

© Fabrazyme Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Fabrazyme Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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