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Ocrevus

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/23/2021
Ocrevus Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

What Is Ocrevus?

Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) injection is aCD20-directed cytolytic antibody indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing or primary progressive forms of multiple sclerosis.

What Are Side Effects of Ocrevus?

Common side effects of Ocrevus include:

  • upper respiratory tract infections,
  • infusion reactions (itching, rash, hives, redness, bronchospasm, swollen and sore throat, mouth pain, shortness of breath, flushing, hypotension, fever, fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, and fast heart rate),
  • skin infections,
  • lower respiratory tract infections,
  • depression,
  • back pain, and
  • pain in the extremities.

Dosage for Ocrevus

Hepatitis B virus screening is required before the first dose of Ocrevus. Pre-medicate with methylprednisolone (or an equivalent corticosteroid) and an antihistamine prior to each infusion. The starting dose of Ocrevus is 300 mg intravenous infusion, followed two weeks later by a second 300 mg intravenous infusion. Subsequent doses of Ocrevus are 600 mg intravenous infusion every 6 months.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Ocrevus?

Ocrevus may interact with other immune-modulating or immunosuppressive therapies, including immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Ocrevus During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Ocrevus is not recommended for use during pregnancy; it may harm a fetus. It is unknown if Ocrevus passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) Injection 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.

QUESTION

What kind of disease is multiple sclerosis? See Answer
Ocrevus Consumer Information

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Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some side effects may occur during the injection or up to 24 hours later. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, tired, nauseated, light-headed, feverish, sweaty, itchy, or have a red skin rash, headache, fast heartbeats, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or swelling and irritation in your throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast heart beats, tiredness;
  • headache, nausea, dizziness;
  • itchy skin, rash, hives;
  • fever, chills, cough;
  • throat pain or irritation;
  • wheezing, breathing problem, feeling short of breath;
  • flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • skin sores, blisters, pus, or oozing;
  • cold sores or fever blisters on or around your lips;
  • nerve pain (tingling, burning pain, "pins and needles" feeling);
  • mood or behavior changes, confusion, memory problems;
  • weakness on one side of your body; or
  • problems with speech, vision, or muscle movement.

Your ocrelizumab treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

Common side effects may include:

  • skin infections;
  • reactions to an injection; or
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

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.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Ocrevus (Ocrelizumab Injection)

SLIDESHOW

What Is Multiple Sclerosis? MS Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis See Slideshow
Ocrevus Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

  • Infusion Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Infections [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Reduction in Immunoglobulins [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Malignancies [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

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

The safety of OCREVUS has been evaluated in 1311 patients across MS clinical studies, which included 825 patients in active-controlled clinical trials in patients with relapsing forms of MS (RMS) and 486 patients in a placebo-controlled study in patients with primary progressive MS (PPMS).

Adverse Reactions In Patients With Relapsing Forms Of MS

In active-controlled clinical trials (Study 1 and Study 2), 825 patients with RMS received OCREVUS 600 mg intravenously every 24 weeks (initial treatment was given as two separate 300 mg infusions at Weeks 0 and 2) [see Clinical Studies]. The overall exposure in the 96-week controlled treatment periods was 1448 patientyears.

The most common adverse reactions in RMS trials (incidence ≥ 10%) were upper respiratory tract infections and infusion reactions. Table 2 summarizes the adverse reactions that occurred in RMS trials (Study 1 and Study 2).

Table 2: Adverse Reactions in Adult Patients with RMS with an Incidence of at least 5% for OCREVUS and Higher than REBIF

Adverse ReactionsStudies 1 and 2
OCREVUS
600 mg IV
Every 24 Weeks1
(n=825)
%
REBIF
44 mcg SQ
3 Times per Week
(n=826)
%
Upper respiratory tract infections4033
Infusion reactions3410
Depression87
Lower respiratory tract infections85
Back pain65
Herpes virus- associated infections64
Pain in extremity54
1 The first dose was given as two separate 300 mg infusions at Weeks 0 and 2.

Adverse Reactions In Patients With Primary Progressive MS

In a placebo-controlled clinical trial (Study 3), a total of 486 patients with PPMS received one course of OCREVUS (600 mg of OCREVUS administered as two 300 mg infusions two weeks apart) given intravenously every 24 weeks and 239 patients received placebo intravenously [see Clinical Studies]. The overall exposure in the controlled treatment period was 1416 patient-years, with median treatment duration of 3 years.

The most common adverse reactions in the PPMS trial (incidence ≥ 10%) were upper respiratory tract infections, infusion reactions, skin infections, and lower respiratory tract infections. Table 3 summarizes the adverse reactions that occurred in the PPMS trial (Study 3).

Table 3 Adverse Reactions in Adult Patients with PPMS with an Incidence of at least 5% for OCREVUS and Higher than Placebo

Adverse ReactionsStudy 3
OCREVUS
600 mg IV
Every 24
Weeks1
(n=486)
%
Placebo
(n=239)
%
Upper respiratory tract infections4943
Infusion reactions4026
Skin infections1411
Lower respiratory tract infections109
Cough73
Diarrhea65
Edema peripheral65
Herpes virus associated infections54
1 One dose of OCREVUS (600 mg administered as two 300 mg infusions two weeks apart)

Adverse Reactions In Patients Who Received 2-Hour Infusions

Study 4 was designed to characterize the safety profile of OCREVUS infusions administered over 2 hours in patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis who did not experience a serious infusion reaction with any previous OCREVUS infusion. In this study, the incidence, intensity, and types of symptoms of infusion reactions were consistent with those of infusions administered over 3.5 hours [see Clinical Studies].

Laboratory Abnormalities

Decreased Immunoglobulins

OCREVUS decreased total immunoglobulins with the greatest decline seen in IgM levels; however, a decrease in IgG levels was associated with an increased rate of serious infections.

In the active-controlled (RMS) trials (Study 1 and Study 2), the proportion of patients at baseline reporting IgG, IgA, and IgM below the lower limit of normal (LLN) in OCREVUS-treated patients was 0.5%, 1.5%, and 0.1%, respectively. Following treatment, the proportion of OCREVUS-treated patients reporting IgG, IgA, and IgM below the LLN at 96 weeks was 1.5%, 2.4%, and 16.5%, respectively.

In the placebo-controlled (PPMS) trial (Study 3), the proportion of patients at baseline reporting IgG, IgA, and IgM below the LLN in OCREVUS-treated patients was 0.0%, 0.2%, and 0.2%, respectively. Following treatment, the proportion of OCREVUS-treated patients reporting IgG, IgA, and IgM below the LLN at 120 weeks was 1.1%, 0.5%, and 15.5%, respectively.

The pooled data of OCREVUS clinical studies (RMS and PPMS) and their open-label extensions (up to approximately 7 years of exposure) have shown an association between decreased levels of IgG and increased rates of serious infections. The type, severity, latency, duration, and outcome of serious infections observed during episodes of immunoglobulins below LLN were consistent with the overall serious infections observed in patients treated with OCREVUS.

Decreased Neutrophil Levels

In the PPMS clinical trial (Study 3), decreased neutrophil counts occurred in 13% of OCREVUS-treated patients compared to 10% in placebo patients. The majority of the decreased neutrophil counts were only observed once for a given patient treated with OCREVUS and were between LLN - 1.5 x 109/L and 1.0 x 109/L. Overall, 1% of the patients in the OCREVUS group had neutrophil counts less than 1.0 x 109/L and these were not associated with an infection.

Immunogenicity

As with all therapeutic proteins, there is potential for immunogenicity. Immunogenicity data are highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the test methods used. Additionally, the observed incidence of a positive result in a test method may be influenced by several factors, including sample handling, timing of sample collection, drug interference, concomitant medication, and the underlying disease. Therefore, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to OCREVUS with the incidence of antibodies to other products may be misleading.

Patients in MS trials (Study 1, Study 2, and Study 3) were tested at multiple time points (baseline and every 6 months post-treatment for the duration of the trial) for anti-drug antibodies (ADAs). Out of 1311 patients treated with OCREVUS, 12 (~1%) tested positive for ADAs, of which 2 patients tested positive for neutralizing antibodies. These data are not adequate to assess the impact of ADAs on the safety and efficacy of OCREVUS.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of OCREVUS. 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 causal relationship to drug exposure.

Serious herpes infections have been identified during postapproval use of OCREVUS [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Ocrevus (Ocrelizumab Injection)

Related Resources for Ocrevus

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

QUESTION

What kind of disease is multiple sclerosis? See Answer

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