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Drug

Eculizumab

Pronounced

"e-kue-LIZ-oo-mab"

Uses

This medication is used to treat a certain blood disorder (paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria). This disorder can cause a decrease in red blood cells (anemia). This medication helps to block the decrease in red blood cells and can improve the symptoms of anemia (e.g., tiredness, shortness of breath) and decrease the need for blood transfusions.

This medication may also be used to treat a certain immune system disorder (atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome). It helps to prevent blood clots caused by this disorder.

Eculizumab is also used to treat a certain muscle condition (generalized Myasthenia Gravis). It may help to improve symptoms of this condition (such as difficulty swallowing, trouble breathing).

Eculizumab is also used to treat a certain nervous system disorder that affects the spinal cord and eye nerve (neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder). It may help to reduce the number of hospital stays due to the disease.

Warning

Eculizumab can lower your body's ability to fight an infection. It can increase your chance of getting a very serious (possibly fatal) brain/spinal cord infection (meningitis). Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any signs of a severe infection (including meningitis), such as high fever, chills, severe headache, persistent nausea/vomiting, stiff neck, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion), eye sensitivity to light.

You should receive the vaccine for meningitis (meningococcal vaccine) at least 2 weeks before receiving this medication. If you have been previously vaccinated for meningitis, ask your doctor if you need to be vaccinated again before receiving this medication. The vaccine will protect most people, but meningitis may occur even in people who have been vaccinated. Therefore, you should still watch for signs of meningitis even if you receive the vaccine. Consult your doctor for more details.

How to Use This Medication

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start receiving eculizumab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional as directed by your doctor. It is usually given every 7 days for 5 weeks, then every 14 days. The dosage is based on your medical condition. For children, the dosage is also based on the weight.

Do not stop receiving this medication without consulting your doctor. Your condition may become worse when the drug is stopped. If you do stop receiving the medication, you may need to be monitored by your doctor for at least 8 or 12 weeks to make sure that your condition does not worsen. Consult your doctor for more details and for symptoms to watch out for.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsens.

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Information expires December 2020.