alemtuzumab (Campath)

Pronunciation: AL em TOOZ ue mab

Brand: Campath

What is the most important information I should know about Campath?

Campath affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor if you have a fever, chills, sore throat, cough, or trouble breathing.

Some side effects may occur during or shortly after the injection, including dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or trouble breathing.

What is alemtuzumab (Campath)?

This medication guide provides information about the Campath brand of alemtuzumab. Lemtrada is another brand of alemtuzumab that is not covered in this medication guide.

Campath is used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia in adults.

Campath may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving Campath?

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • an active or recent infection;
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • bleeding problems; or
  • if you receive blood transfusions.

Campath may harm an unborn baby. You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using Campath and for at least 3 months after your last dose. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

If you use Campath while you are pregnant, make sure any doctor caring for your new baby knows that you used the medicine during pregnancy. Being exposed to Campath in the womb could affect your baby's vaccination schedule.

This medicine may affect fertility (ability to have children) in both men and women. However, women should still use birth control to prevent pregnancy because Campath can harm an unborn baby.

You should not breastfeed while using Campath, and for at least 3 months after your last dose.

How is Campath given?

Campath is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Campath is usually given 3 times per week for 12 weeks. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you.

This medicine must be given slowly, and the infusion can take 2 hours to complete.

You will be watched closely after receiving Campath, to make sure you do not have a serious reaction.

You may be given other medicines to help prevent certain side effects or infections. Take these medicines for the full prescribed length of time.

Campath affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. You will need frequent medical tests, and your next dose may be delayed based on the results.

Campath can have long lasting effects on your body. You may need medical tests for up to 2 months after you stop using this medicine. Tell any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you that you were treated with Campath.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Campath injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

An overdose may cause a severe reaction when the medicine is injected.

What should I avoid while receiving Campath?

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using Campath. The vaccine may not work as well and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

What are the possible side effects of Campath?

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 or shortly after the injection. Tell your caregiver if you feel feverish, chilled, dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, or have a rash, wheezing, chest pain, or trouble breathing.

Campath may cause a serious brain infection that can lead to disability or death. Call your doctor right away if you have problems with speech, thought, vision, or muscle movement. These symptoms may start gradually and get worse quickly.

Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red spots under your skin;
  • signs of infection --fever, chills, sweating, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing;
  • low red blood cells (anemia) --pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, confusion, unusual weakness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet; or
  • kidney problems (may occur months to years after you receive Campath) --swelling in your lower legs, weight gain, loss of appetite, sudden pain in your stomach and back, urine that looks pink/brown or foamy.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever, chills, infections;
  • reactions to the injection;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or
  • trouble sleeping.

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.

What other drugs will affect Campath?

Other drugs may affect Campath, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about alemtuzumab (Campath).

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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alemtuzumab (Campath)