Lemtrada (alemtuzumab)

By jefff Added at September 11, 2015 Views 1,493 Reviews 2

Lemtrada is a prescription medication approved by the FDA in November 2014 for treating adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RRMS). It is believed that Lemtrada is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed that causes depletion of lymphocytes (white blood cells) and was originally approved at a significantly higher dose, for the treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Its ability to target immune cells led Researchers to test its potential as a treatment for RRMS and is now indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

Because of its safety profile, the use of Lemtrada should generally be reserved for patients who have had an inadequate response to two or more drugs indicated for the treatment of MS.

  • Report Report as inappropriate
  • Share
    Email Email
    Print Print Twitter Twitter
    Facebook Facebook

Reviews (2 reviews)

Add your review Reply Down
jefff
jefff September 11, 2015 at 6:44 pm   

I'm fairly optimistic of this Trial if the "Pros" and "Cons" work themselves out. Yes, there are some pretty scary side-effects, even death, but through the Trial Phases, these can hopefully be worked out and we can have a new drug for the RRMS!!! jefff

jefff
jefff September 11, 2015 at 6:42 pm   
Pros

Lemtrada is a monoclonal antibody that targets CD52, a protein abundant on T and B cells. Circulating T and B cells is thought to be responsible for the damaging inflammatory process in MS, so the Lemtrada depletes this circulating T and B lymphocytes after each treatment course. Lymphocyte counts then increase over time with a reconstitution of the lymphocyte population that varies for the different lymphocyte subtypes thereby causing a remyelination or cleansing of the cells and decreasing the inflammation around the myelin.

Cons

Prescribing information for Lemtrada includes a boxed warning about the potential for serious, and sometimes fatal, autoimmune conditions such as immune thrombocytopenia (a rare bleeding condition) and anti-glomerular basement membrane disease (which impacts the kidneys). It also warns about serious and life-threatening infusion reactions (reactions occurring during or more than 24 hours after the administration of the medication), increased risk of malignancies (including thyroid cancer, melanoma, and blood cancers).

Autoimmune thyroid disorders occurred in 34% of people treated with Lemtrada in clinical studies. The most common side effects noted in people were:
•Rashes
•Headaches
•Fevers
•Nasal congestion
•Nausea, Vomiting
•Urinary tract infections
•Fatigue
•Insomnia
•Upper respiratory tract infections
•Herpes viral infections
•Hives
•Itching
•Thyroid gland disorders
•Fungal infections
•Pain in joints, extremities and back
•Diarrhea
•Sinusitis
•Sore mouth and throat
•Tingling and /or dizziness
•Abdominal pain
•Flushing

It's important to note that while these "Cons" are labeled and listed as possible side-effects, the Trials are still occurring to further REDUCE these side-effects.