This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
- It is used to treat a certain red blood cell problem (hemolysis) in people with cold agglutinin disease.
- If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your blood work and other lab tests checked as you have been told by your doctor.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- This drug raises the risk of severe infections, especially meningococcal, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae infections. Life threatening and deadly infections have happened in people treated with this drug. These types of infections can become life-threatening or deadly very fast if not treated early. Vaccines can help lower the risk of these infections. You will need to get these vaccines at least 2 weeks before starting this drug unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Even if you have had these vaccines before, you may need to get another one.
- Vaccines lower the risk of infections but do not prevent all infections from happening. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of a severe infection like fever with or without a rash, fast heartbeat, chills, chest pain, trouble breathing, or cough; headache with upset stomach or throwing up, fever, or stiff neck or back; confusion; clammy skin; body aches with flu-like signs; or if light bothers your eyes.
- Some health problems may happen after this drug is stopped. Call your doctor right away if you feel tired or weak, or if you have bloody or dark urine, a fast heartbeat, or shortness of breath.
- This drug may raise the risk of an autoimmune disease like lupus. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Rarely, some allergic reactions have been life-threatening.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) like blood in the urine, burning or pain when passing urine, feeling the need to pass urine often or right away, fever, lower stomach pain, or pelvic pain.
- Signs of lupus like a rash on the cheeks or other body parts, sunburn easy, muscle or joint pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given.
- Flu-like signs.
- Skin irritation.
- Change in color of hands, feet, or other areas. Skin may turn pale, blue, gray, purple, or red.
- Swelling in the arms or legs.
- Infusion reactions have happened during the infusion. Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain or fast heartbeat; trouble breathing; signs of low blood pressure like dizziness or passing out; swelling of the face, tongue, or throat; flushing; severe upset stomach or headache; or any other bad effects during the infusion.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Signs of a common cold.
- Stomach pain.
- Upset stomach.
- Joint pain.
- Feeling tired or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
- If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- This drug comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this drug is refilled. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
© 2024 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.